Sport NRL to take six games to regional New South Wales in 2021 season

04:51  25 november  2020
04:51  25 november  2020 Source:   sportingnews.com

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The 2020 NRL season is the 113th of professional rugby league in Australia and the 23rd season run by the National Rugby League . As of 3 May 2020, the season was shortened from 25 rounds to 20, and the finals series and State of Origin pushed back, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information on the Six Invitational 2021 , its sanitary protocol and the regional Open Qualifiers formats will be shared in the coming weeks. The next step of the project remains the National Committees selection process in each participating country and region , which will resume in 2021 .

After a tough year for rugby league and its fans due to COVID-19, the NRL are looking to give back in 2021 by taking six games to regional New South Wales.

In a new initiative launched by the NRL called the 'EISS Super Regional Series NRL Telstra Premiership', six clubs will play one of their allocated home games at a regional venue.

After a year that saw limited to no fans allowed at venues and only certain grounds chosen to host NRL games, this is a great idea from the ARL Commission to give back to the rugby league community.

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The following clubs will take their games to these towns in 2021:

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  • Penrith Panthers - Bathurst

  • Canberra Raiders - Wagga Wagga

  • Wests Tigers - Tamworth

  • South Sydney Rabbitohs - Dubbo

  • Manly Sea Eagles - Mudgee

  • Cronulla Sharks - Coffs Harbour

ARLC boss Peter V'landys described rugby league as the 'DNA of regional NSW' and promised to continue to bring games to the country.

“I made a promise to regional NSW that we would take games back to the bush as soon as the competition returned to normality. The infection rate is now zero so we will deliver on that promise and schedule NRL games in six different towns,’’ he said.

“Nowhere is rugby league stronger than in our regions. This year COVID meant we were only able to take one game to regional NSW, so we will make good on that with six games next year.

“One of the Commission’s major objectives in the next three years is to reinvigorate Country Rugby League. Accordingly there is no better way than to take the game’s stars to Country heartland and inspire participation at all levels.”

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Italy and France will kick off the 2021 Six Nations Championship when they meet on Saturday 6 th February. The Calcutta Cup match between England and Scotland then follows at Twickenham. Rounding off the opening weekend's fixtures, Wales face Ireland at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff

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A big supporter of the initiative - and rugby league in general - is NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro, who V'landys thanked in the statement.

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“There’s no stronger supporter in government for our game than the Deputy Premier. Without the efforts of John we would not have been able to play this year. His common sense approach procures major outcomes for NSW,’’ he said.

“John with his common touch understands how important taking these matches to the bush are and what it means to these communities.

“I also want to thank our six clubs for their commitment to taking a home game to a regional centre."

Barilaro was also quoted as saying that regional NSW have had a tough few years with drought as well as COVID, and that bringing games to these areas was a great

“There’s nothing quite like a game of footy to boost morale and nobody deserves it more than our resilient communities in the regions,” he said.

“Bathurst, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Dubbo, Mudgee and Coffs will play host to a first grade game in the 2021 NRL Telstra Premiership Schedule which will benefit those towns and surrounding areas beyond measure.

“Many professional NRL players come from regional towns and I’m sure they, and the entire state of NSW, thank the NRL for making this a reality.

“Sydney might be the home of NRL, but the regions are where it was born.”

The full NRL draw for 2021 is expected to be announced on Thursday.

England do enough to subdue Wales and secure top spot .
England do enough to subdue Wales and secure top spotA Johnny Williams try gave new-look Wales an early lead but they were second-best for most of a messy, largely forgettable match as Henry Slade and Mako Vunipola crossed for England and, after their powerful bench wrested control, captain Owen Farrell brought them home with four penalties.

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