World Cup postponement puts season extension and England testing on the agenda

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An extension of the Super League season and England’s last minute games this fall are under consideration as it seems inevitable that this year’s Rugby Union World Cup will be postponed to Wednesday.

Despite the attempt to hold the tournament without Australia and New Zealand, who confirmed last month that they would not be sending teams to England for the tournament due to player welfare concerns regarding Covid-19, World Cup organizers are expected to concede at a board meeting on Wednesday afternoon that they had no choice but to postpone until 2022. That leaves a hole almighty in the calendar in October and November that the Rugby Football League will now try to fill.

Among the options being considered is a hastily organized series of tests for England, with RFL wanting the national team to play at home this fall, as they were supposed to do during the World Cup. Despite having managed the national team for 18 months, Shaun Wane has only supported one game: the mid-season game against the Combined Nations All Stars in June.

But with more than a dozen Super League matches that have been called off due to Covid outbreaks among clubs yet to get back on the schedule, top clubs themselves are expected to discuss the logistics behind the extension of the current season. The grand final is due to take place at Old Trafford on October 9, but the clubs will now hold urgent discussions in a meeting on Friday to determine if they can play until October now that there is no Duke’s Cup. world.

The loss of the World Cup is a blow to the organizers, who will now demand that the International Rugby League provide a harsh response to the governing bodies of Australia and New Zealand, which precipitated the collapse in favor. of the event. Last week, the 16 clubs in the NRL said they were not supporting their players traveling to England for the event, despite pledges from the organizers of private charter flights and biosecure bubbles for all competing players.

Competition chief executive Jon Dutton has vowed they will do everything in their power to organize the tournament, given the government backing to the tune of £ 25million. But they have now conceded defeat and will push the event back for 12 months. This, however, means a direct clash with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the logistical headache of booking each venue for all matches in the men’s, women’s and wheelchair tournaments.

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