These are indeed difficult and challenging times.
Never in the 100-plus year history of rugby league has it faced a threat of this kind.
It is of course not only rugby league but the broader community that is having to deal with the ramifications of COVID-19 and the disruption to our daily lives. Our thoughts are with those who have taken ill or perhaps even lost a loved one to this virus. On behalf of Wests Tigers, we extend to you our deepest sympathies.
As you may now be aware, the 2020 NRL season has been suspended indefinitely. The NRL has received advice from its bio-security and pandemic experts that a continuation of the season poses an unacceptable and significant risk to the health and wellbeing of our players.
This has always been of paramount importance to the NRL and Wests Tigers. In those circumstances there was no alternative but to suspend the competition.
It remains the intention of the NRL to ensure, as far as possible, that all 25 rounds of the 2020 season are played together with a finals series culminating in a Grand Final. This may mean an extension of the season well beyond the usual finishing date and Wests Tigers fully support the NRL in the taking of such a decision.
All community rugby league affiliated with the NSWRL has been suspended until at least May 1, 2020. All major NSWRL competitions have been suspended until May 31, 2020. Community rugby league involves more than 100,000 grassroots players across the state — from under-6s to open age.
The NRL and Wests Tigers are a part of a broader community that has been impacted by this pandemic. All of us are facing extraordinary challenges.
It is times such as these that strength is found in numbers and, at Wests Tigers, we know that we can rely upon the resilience and support of our corporate partners, Members and fans — as has always been the case — to enable us to survive these challenges.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, the executive team, coaching staff, administration and all of our playing group, I extend to our Members and fans our heartfelt appreciation for their support during these difficult times.
We very much look forward to enjoying rugby league together again as part of our Wests Tigers family.
Wests Tigers Chair