Rugby League Brisbane last night announced their intention to return to play in the 2020 season.
In a memo directed to Rugby League Brisbane clubs, staff and referees, the RLB revealed that following a meeting on Tuesday night, they had voted in favour of having competitions return to Brisbane field in both juniors and seniors.
Following the release of the Queensland Rugby League’s Return to Play Handbook and protocols, as well as relevant government guidelines, RLB took part in a consultative process with all Brisbane clubs which included a survey to gauge the intentions of clubs moving forward.
The feedback provided indicated 82 per cent of clubs were either fully committed or most likely to return to play under the current guidelines that are in place.
Of the remaining 18 per cent of clubs, only four per cent indicated they would not return.
The other 10 per cent indicated they were a chance of returning, depending on whether or not restrictions were eased in Stage 3 of the Queensland Government Roadmap.
Under the current restrictions in place, the RLB board indicated the start of junior rugby league would come via a staged approache as follows:
Under 6 and Under 7 - start the weekend of July 18-19, 2020
Under 8 to Under 12 – start the weekend of July 25-26, 2020
Under 13 to Under 18 – start the weekend of August 1-2, 2020
All international age groups will play a minimum of 10 rounds of rugby league with teams being provided with the opportunity to play finals rugby league over a two-week period.
Division one teams will finish on October 18 and lower divisions will finish a week earlier on October 11.
The Under 7 to Under 12 age groups with play between 10-12 rounds of rugby league to finish on the October 11.
At this stage, the Under 6 age group will play 10 rounds and finish on the September 20.
In senior news, eight of the nine A Grade Brisbane Rugby League clubs will return to the BRL In Safe Hands ‘A’ Grade competition in 2020.
This competition will start on the weekend of August 1-2, 2020.
The competition will be split into two four team conferences (North and South) with each conference playing each other twice and playing the other conference once to give a 10 round competition plus a finals series over two weeks.
The grand final will be held on October 18, 2020.
More information about the 2020 Brisbane Rugby League A Grade In Safe Hands Cup will be provided on the QRL website in coming weeks.
The RLB Open men’s competition will also begin and finish on the same dates at the A Grade competition, with structure to be determined once nominations are received by the League.
The RLB board acknowledged that this year been a difficult one so far for all of their clubs, especially financially, and as such, the board confirmed there would be financial assistance provided to all junior clubs who return to play in 2020.
All affiliation and nominations fees would be reduced via a pro rata systems for all junior teams in 2020 and a one-off contribution of $1000 would be provided to assist with costs for junior clubs this year.
The RLB board also thanked all of their participating clubs, members and volunteers for their patience and hard work in getting clubs ready for a return to rugby league in 2020.