SEASON CANCELLED: South Burnett Eagles U18 prop Tyson Ellul in a pre-season match against Bundaberg. (Picture: Tristan Evert)
SEASON CANCELLED: South Burnett Eagles U18 prop Tyson Ellul in a pre-season match against Bundaberg. (Picture: Tristan Evert)

South Burnett Rugby League 2020 season fate decided

AFTER a meeting on June 9, the SBRL Management Committee and Clubs have decided to cancel the 2020 South Burnett rugby league season.

The decision comes after discussions concluded that the 100 people maximum limit was impractical for the region's clubs.

There was a caveat on the decision that should numbers be lifted this will be reviewed in an effort to get some form of rugby league back on the fields across the South Burnett. 

South Burnett Rugby League president David Tierney said each club was asked to consider how this would impact their club individually and how they would practically implement this at their club.

"While in true country rugby league spirit and 'never say die attitude', most clubs said they could probably make them work," Tierney said.

"However the sticking point was that the 100 person limit was too restrictive and impractical.

"All clubs acknowledge their current volunteers are wholly committed to rugby league and their clubs, however expressed concern what impact these extra conditions would put on these club servants.

"They acknowledge that they would struggle to find other volunteers to help with the extra and onerous conditions."

It was also taken into account that some clubs were struggling to field teams in certain grades prior to COVID-19 and the adverse impact this will have on players returning.

Tierney said the group also considered the implications of the current biosecurity restrictions on Cherbourg and the adverse impact this would have on that club participating in any competition.

"While it was thought that there would be ways around these it was eventually recognised that the onerous limit of only 100 persons and the associated logistics and costs, both financial and social, involved in their implementation and enforcement these made it impossible to proceed with any form of competition," Tierney said.

"We understand that players and parents need to prioritise work commitments at this time and so have decided to make a decision sooner rather than later.

"I would like to congratulate the presidents and club executives on their decision. I know this is not a popular decision but it is a decision that was needed to be made to ensure a healthy SBRL competition exists in years to come.

"I would like to also thank sponsors of the clubs and league for their support and understanding during this period as well.

"While the players and officials want rugby league back we need to take into account the health and well being on all those involved, especially the at risk within our league and wider communities.

"As a league we will use the time to focus on planning for 2021 and getting things in place for a bigger and brighter 2021 season."