17 March 2020
NHRU Announcement – COVID-19
Following the announcement by Rugby Australia (RA) yesterday afternoon relating to COVID-19 and community Rugby across Australia, and subsequent confirmations received from New South Wales Rugby Union (NSWRU) and New South Wales Country Rugby Union (NSWCRU), the Newcastle & Hunter rugby union zone affiliates (NHRU, HJRU, NRURA and THC) will place a moratorium on all affiliated and sanctioned community Rugby competitions (including training) throughout the Newcastle & Hunter zones until Saturday, 2 May 2020.
The sanctioning of competitions is a key responsibility of our affiliates (NSWRU and NSWCRU), along with full compliance with our public health responsibilities around grass-roots Rugby.
During this time, the zone’s affiliates (NHRU, HJRU, NRURA and THC) are encouraging clubs and other affiliated bodies to follow public health information and procedures regarding containment of the spread of COVID-19, from the World Health Organisation, Australian Federal Government, Rugby Australia and NSW Health.
The recommended moratorium leaves a window from Saturday 2 May through to September 2020, preserved for local club competitions to be played, if circumstances allow.
Newcastle & Hunter zone officials indicated: –
1) This health emergency we’re facing and working through is unprecedented and the community Rugby stance by RA, NSWRU, NSWCRU (and in turn NHRU, HJRU and THC) considers all information currently available provided by public health bodies, governments and RA;
2) The moratorium on community rugby ensures that stakeholders (players, volunteers, staff, supporters) are not placed in positions of unnecessary risk. Rugby affiliates continue to work through the implementation of policies and procedures that will continue to reduce risk for stakeholders;
3) The moratorium on community rugby allows NHRU and HJRU time to plan and implement new participation/competition structures that would allow Newcastle and Hunter stakeholders to participate in rugby within the designated window should circumstances allow;
4) Newcastle and Hunter affiliates will continue to work closely with our member Clubs on the best way to assist them during this challenging period; and
5) We’re mindful that this global health emergency is bigger than sport and the health of the communities of Newcastle Hunter region remain our priority.
We have attached copies of the relevant announcements received from RA and NSWRU/NSWCRU.
Yours in Rugby,
Bill Clifton – President Newcastle Hunter Rugby
Kobus (Bok) Hattingh – President Hunter Junior Rugby
Bob Hawes – President Newcastle Rugby Referees
Rowan Burgess – Chairman The Hawthorne Club