Kangaroo and Kiwi have officially withdrawn from Rugby World Cup due to Covid risks in the UK.
The Australian Rugby Union Committee and New Zealand Rugby Union released a joint statement on Thursday confirming that no country will enter the competition “out of concerns for the safety and welfare of player”.
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The Rugby World Cup is scheduled to open on October 23 with the final on November 27.
However, both ARLC and NZRL requested that the Rugby World Cup be postponed to 2022 to minimize the risk of participating players contracting Covid-19.
“The Australian Rugby League Committee (ARLC) and the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRL) today informed the organizers of the International Rugby League (IRL) and the World Rugby Federation. (RLWC) that Australia and New Zealand will not participate in the 2021 World Cup due to player safety and welfare concerns,” a statement read.
“The ARLC and NZRL have once again requested the postponement of RLWC2021 to 2022 to minimize the risk of players contracting COVID-19 and ensure the best outcome for player health.
“The decision to withdraw from RLWC2021 was made after considering the risk of COVID-19 infection in the UK, the worsening environment in Australia and the length of time that the majority of NRL Telstra Premiership players will be away from home with strict biosecurity conditions before the World Cup.
“ARLC and NZRL have resolved that in the current environment, the risk to athletes and officials coming to the UK for this year’s tournament is too great and cannot confirm Australia and New Zealand participation in the RLWC. in 2021. . “
ARLC chairman Peter V’landys said the decision was made with the “best interests” of the players in mind of the committee.
“Not participating in this year’s World Cup is not a decision the Committee has taken lightly, but we must put the best interests of our players and officials first. Protecting them is our absolute priority,’ he said.
“In the current environment, the risks to the safety, health and well-being of players and officials traveling from Australia to this year’s tournament are insurmountable.
“The majority of NRL players are now living away from home following tough biosecurity protocols. They will then be required to maintain protocols and be away from home for the duration of the tournament before being quarantined again upon their return to Australia. This is too much to ask of our players and officials.
“We have asked the IRL and the Rugby League World Cup to consider postponing the event until 2022 to allow all players to participate.”
The decision to withdraw from the RLW will mean that Australian Jilaroos and Kiwi Ferns will not be participating in the women’s tournament.
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NZRL CEO Greg Peters echoed V’landys’ concerns.
“The safety and well-being of the people is a top priority, and unfortunately, that cannot guarantee our satisfaction,” he said.
“There are stark differences between how the pandemic is managed in the UK compared to Australasia and recent developments have shown how quickly things can change.
“The tournament organizers have lobbied heaven and earth to make this work, so this is not an easy decision, but the Covid-19 situation in the UK shows no signs of improving, and simply It’s too unsafe to send teams and staff.
“We understand how disappointing this is for fans and those involved; However, the safety of players and staff remains paramount. “
The remaining countries that, at this stage, will compete in the RLWC are England, Samoa, Fiji, Scotland, Italy, Jamaica, Ireland, Lebanon, France, Greece, Tonga, Papua New Guinea, Wales and the Cook Islands.
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The decision comes a week after the NRL moved to Queensland, where clubs not based in Queensland will stay for a minimum of a month to avoid the Covid outbreak in Greater Sydney.
The NRL has covered the costs of relocating the players’ and staff’s families, however some have chosen to stay in the hope that the players will return in a month.
But the NRL has indicated that there is every possibility that the rest of the season could be played in Queensland if cases of Covid in Greater Sydney do not decrease.
Warriors players spent most of last season – and will spend all of this – away from home, while Melbourne Storm spent last season on the Sunshine Coast.
https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/world-cup/nrl-2021-australia-and-new-zealand-pull-out-of-rugby-league-world-cup-covid19-news-kangaroos-kiwis/news-story/971bfcb1ee8f368a6251c9d9e4e2e51a | Australia and New Zealand pull out of Rugby League World Cup, Covid-19 news, Kangaroos, Kiwis