New COVID restrictions halts Schoolboy Cup
The NRL Schoolboy Cup has been postponed, after the NSW Government introduced new measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 across schools.
Quarter-finals were scheduled for next week, however, the NRL confirmed on Wednesday that the prestigious statewide competition could not continue under the current restrictions.
"The Schoolboys Cup is an important component of the school rugby league experience one, and I commend all the schools for the work they put in this year in making the opening round of the competition a reality," the NRL's Head of Football, Participation, Pathways and Game Development Luke Ellis said.
"The opening games showcased the skills and determination of the players in our future. I'm so pleased students had an opportunity to experience the competition, but public health must come first."
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The NRL had already banned spectators from Schoolboy Cup matches and imposed strict COVID-19 protocol on all participating schools.
But on Monday, the Department of Education announced new rules to prevent students and staff members from different regions mixing together. Schools are now banned from travelling outside their local zone and any inter-school sport must be held locally.
Quarter-finalists Patrician Brothers Blacktown, Westfields Sports High, St Gregory's College and Hills Sports High are all situated in Western Sydney.
However, Endeavour Sports High is located in Caringbah, Illawarra Sports High is near Wollongong and Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School is in Tamworth.
MORE SCHOOLBOY CUP NEWS
The NRL hopes that the Schoolboy Cup can resume later this year, however, organisers will act only in accordance with the latest government advice.
"Right from the start of this pandemic, we have said our priority is ensuring the health and safety of the general community, and we respect the NSW Government's decision," Ellis said. "We thank them for their ongoing assistance throughout the pandemic. We'll continue to monitor and determine the future of the final competition rounds in due course."
SCHOOLBOY CUP QUARTER-FINALS
Holy Cross Ryde vs Hills Sports High
Illawarra Sports High vs Endeavour Sports High
Patrician Brothers, Blacktown vs St Gregory's College
Westfields Sports High vs Farrer MAHS
Originally published as New COVID restrictions halt Schoolboy Cup