• Major Rugby Upheaval Affects Super League and NRL

    Super League has tapped the brakes on the current season, as Great Britain and Europe have now become a primary danger zone for the coronavirus.

    They have shut down until sometime in April, which has affected a couple of notable southern hemisphere natives, Sonny Bill Williams and Israel Folau.

    We may have missed it, but so far as we can tell, Folau has not taken to Twitter with anything along the lines of, “See, I warned you.”

    His phone might be in quarantine.

    Williams on the other hand, was unequivocally supportive of the Super League decision to suspend play.

    Recent reports inform that four players from Williams’ Toronto Wolfpack club reported symptoms that mildly mimicked those of the coronavirus.

    Williams reports that he and his family are fine.

    Super League went ahead last weekend and was one of the few sports in Britain to carry on, but Williams was quick to voice support, tweeting, “God willing the authorities lead by example and put the fans/staff and player’s health first.”

    The NRL carried on with business and played the opening round of the Telstra 2020 NRL Premiership competition, but the Warriors are reportedly thinking of abandoning the NRL season after their Round 2 game with Canberra.

    We did not see a development of that sort coming.

    It seems hard to imagine that one club could call a halt without the blessing of the league, but this is not the business as usual situation we normally encounter.

    The game between Warriors and Raiders has been moved to Gold Coast. The NRL’s current plan is for games to go on as planned, but without spectators in attendance.

    Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith favours shutting the NRL down.

    “This thing is bigger than rugby league,” Smith said.

    Of course, businesses such as the NRL, Super League, Super Rugby and others have to weigh the economic against the human risks, but many players feel, as does Smith, that the risks to players and their families supersedes the monetary consequences.