Cody Walker (centre), of the Rabbitohs, is seen being kissed by his father Bernie Walker (right) as he celebrates winning the Round 5 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium on the Sunshine Coast, Saturday, April 13, 2019. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Cody Walker (centre), of the Rabbitohs, is seen being kissed by his father Bernie Walker (right) as he celebrates winning the Round 5 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium on the Sunshine Coast, Saturday, April 13, 2019. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Footy fans wait to learn whether they’ll get 2020 fix

FOOTY fans face an uncertain wait to find out whether they'll be able to catch any NRL action on the Coast this year.

The Cronulla Sharks v North Queensland Cowboys game scheduled for May 16 on the Coast has been cancelled, with tickets refunded, as a result of the coronavirus shutdown.

But the NRL has since unveiled its bold plan to restart the competition, with a May 28 return date being targeted.

It's unclear what that may mean for the South Sydney Rabbitohs v New Zealand Warriors game which was set to be played at Bokarina's Sunshine Coast Stadium on August 15.

Coast councillor Jason O'Pray said the council was "eagerly awaiting advice from the Queensland Government and the NRL in respect to how the 2020 season will unfold".

"There has not yet been advice received in respect to the Rabbitohs v Warriors game scheduled for August 15," Cr O'Pray said.

NRL action at Sunshine Coast Stadium between New Zealand Warriors and the South Sydney Rabbitohs, which saw a record crowd of 11,912.
NRL action at Sunshine Coast Stadium between New Zealand Warriors and the South Sydney Rabbitohs, which saw a record crowd of 11,912.

"Although the NRL has targeted a May 28 return, we are not privy to any further details."

The Warriors have come across the ditch to establish a training base on the NSW Central Coast, after a quarantine stint in Tamworth in rural New South Wales, while the Melbourne Storm players are also navigating their new, temporary headquarters.

Eighteen games would still be played, as part of a 20-round season, when the competition restarted, with a grand final slated for October 25, and a State of Origin series to follow the premiership finale.

It was unclear what changes there may be to playing venues, or what the competition may look like in terms of crowds, depending on the situation with restrictions as they ease.

"Beyond the 2020 season, council does have agreements in place to deliver a fixture at Sunshine Coast Stadium for both the Rabbitohs and Sharks for the 2021 season," Cr O'Pray said.

Cody Walker, of the Rabbitohs, celebrates winning the Round 5 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium on the Sunshine Coast, Saturday, April 13, 2019. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY
Cody Walker, of the Rabbitohs, celebrates winning the Round 5 NRL match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the New Zealand Warriors at Sunshine Coast Stadium on the Sunshine Coast, Saturday, April 13, 2019. (AAP Image/Darren England) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY

"Negotiations to extend terms beyond 2021 have not commenced, given the NRL clubs' immediate focus is on the 2020 season and the fact that the NRL landscape will look different in a post COVID-19 environment.

"Council isn't in a position to speculate any further on the future of NRL fixtures on the Sunshine Coast at this stage, however will adapt and respond when further information is known.

"This reaffirms the current council position in being committed to supporting Queensland Health as the lead agency responsible for responding to Covid-19."



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