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Sport NRL Coronavirus: Darius Boyd casts severe doubts over NRL's drastic relocation plans

03:05  07 april  2020
03:05  07 april  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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Darius Boyd wearing a football uniform © Getty Images

Broncos veteran Darius Boyd has cast doubts over the NRL's plans to isolate players in a bubble environment if and when the season is able to return this year.

The NRL has set up an 'Innovation Committee' tasked with devising various scenarios for the season's resumption, with September outlined as the latest feasible date from which a shortened season could still be played.

With ARLC chairman Peter V'Landys hellbent on seeing the competition kickstart as early as July, the idea of planting all 16 clubs in one or numerous different isolated locations to limit the risk of COVID-19 infection has been floated.

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One of the committee's recent innovations being discussed is the potential to break the competition into four different conferences, basing them out of locations such as Canberra, the Central Coast of NSW, Brisbane and North Queensland.

Whilst NRL CEO Todd Greenberg recently declared there are "no bad ideas" on the table, Boyd fears isolating players from their families would have a severe impact on their mental health.

“At the end of the day, the most important thing is everyone’s mental health and wellbeing,” Boyd told Wide World of Sports Radio.

“I’m not sure we could do five months away from our family, especially having young ones.

“[We could do] four or six weeks to start the competition and get it up and running and then hopefully the virus is under control and the lockdown starts to drop down in levels and maybe we can go back into our homes.

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Darius Boyd (born 17 July 1987) is an Australian professional rugby league footballer who plays as a fullback, five eighth and on the wing for the Brisbane Broncos in the NRL and has played for Australia

“All the options are on the table and we all want to see rugby league succeed and get back on as soon as possible, not just the players, but all the staff that are involved and obviously the communities that love and support their teams.”

Given the complexities experienced with the Warriors when they were forced to remain in Australia following New Zealand's travel lock out in round two, there's believed to be some resistance from players surrounding the relocation of the competition.

But in the wake of the devastating financial carnage that has unfolded across all 16 clubs, Storm boss Frank Ponissi, who's been heavily involved in the NRL's planning, believes players' mindset will begin to shift.

“A couple of weeks ago there was a real resistance (to move away), that was one of the reasons why a lot of people especially players and staff with young families were saying ‘no we won’t look at that’,” Ponissi told SEN radio recently.

Boyd casts doubts on league-wide isolation plan

  Boyd casts doubts on league-wide isolation plan Retiring Broncos veteran Darius Boyd is unsure whether he can remain away from his family for the entirety of the season.With the season currently suspended indefinitely due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the NRL is weighing up several options that will allow it to resume the season, one of which is to take all the clubs to an isolated environment away from their families.

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The UK' s plan to tackle coronavirus has been changing. Without drastic measures - which could be in place for weeks, or even months - it is feared that more than 250,000 people could die. This is particularly important for people over 70, those with underlying health conditions and pregnant women.

“Now it’s changed again. People are out of work and salaries have either been cut or stopped completely.

“You’ve got to feed your family ... so they will look at anything. The mood has changed dramatically.”

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More info: Read the latest advice on COVID-19 from the Australian Government

Coronavirus: China reports 63 cases and 2 additional deaths .
HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-CHINA: Coronavirus: China reports 63 cases and 2 additional deaths © Reuters / ALY SONG CORONAVIRUS: CHINA REPORTS 63 CASES AND 2 ADDITIONAL DEATHS BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese health officials said on Thursday they had identified 63 new confirmed cases of coronavirus contamination and two additional deaths linked to the epidemic in mainland China. In its daily update, the National Health Commission specifies that 61 new cases involve travelers arriving from abroad.

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