NRL Grand Final race: League hopeful of crowds amid COVID chaos
NRL’s Head of Football Graham Annesley says it’s too soon to say where the NRL Grand Final will be held, with a number of factors to influence the decision including whether crowds will be allowed.
He said they were taking it one week at a time as Queensland and NSW remain in lockdown.
“It’s really difficult to tell, obviously we would like to continue playing games in Queensland, we have got all of our clubs here and Queensland has been a very safe state for us to play in,” he told Scott Emerson.
Talks are being held with the government today ahead of the weekend’s games.
Asked about the NRL Grand Final and the state of play, he said it was too soon to tell.
“You need a crystal ball really to determine what’s going to happen, not only in two months but probably in two months.
“This moves very swiftly, we didn’t think we’d be relocating the whole competition to Queensland, we certainly didn’t think we’d be suspending last Saturday’s games, it’s very difficult to predict what’s going to happen going forward.
“Our plan is to continue playing, come what may, we will do everything we have to do and need to do to continue getting approvals to play, regardless of where that is, whether that’s in Queensland or any other part of Australia.”
He said the NRL felt an obligation to continue games to provide a rare “bright spot” for fans, especially those in lockdown.
Mr Annesley said if they have to play with no crowds, they would.
“Of course we would want to play a Grand Final with a crowd,” he said.
“Crowd will be part of the decision, location in terms of the infection rate …. it’s not so much a commercial decision for us at this point in time, it’s more about where we can play safely, if we can get a crowd that’s a bonus for us.”
Press PLAY to hear more about the plans for the rest of the season
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