Rugby league has got it right during the pandemic

John Reid September 3, 2020
Rugby league has got it right during the pandemic
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

When looking at how sports have dealt with the current pandemic situation, one that should be discussed more often is Rugby League.

That is a sport that is getting is right during the pandemic, when it comes to postponing games and sanctioning players who do not adhere to the rules.

On Wednesday, it was announced that Thursday’s match between Wakefield and Leeds was postponed as two players tested positive for Covid-19.

That might be a small section of the squad, but it is better to be safe than sorry, and the game can be played in the future once the players and the rest of the squad are given the all-clear to resume playing.

Sports is taking care of players

People claiming that it is harsh to postpone the game are wrong, as it is the sport taking care of its players.

Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

Another interesting aspect to note is that the CEO of the Rugby Football League, Ralph Rimmer demanded that the players follow the rules set in place by the sport and the government agencies.

“What we need now is for players to adhere to the behaviours demanded of them” he said, as reported by BBC Sport.

“I do think our protocols, which we have worked very hard on with various government agencies…are pretty robust if I’m honest. We have done over 4,000 tests and only had 17 positive.”

That shows how robust rugby league has been in its testing, and it should be applauded for the steps it has taken.

It is interesting to note that the authorities in the sport are willing to sanction even the top players.

Player of the season sanctioned

The played voted the best in rugby league last season, Jackson Hastings, was, as reported by BBC Sport, sanctioned for breaching protocols in August.

Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

The player and two others received a 14-day ban that meant that they couldn’t take part in any rugby league activities during that time.

That is a positive move, and it shows that no one is immune from the sanctions that the sport has put in place.

When sport returns to relative normality in the weeks and months to come, rugby league should be considered as one of the sports that has handled the pandemic very well.

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John Reid is an experienced journalist, specialising in Scottish football for a number of years.