Brahmans’ restart 'not viable' unless restrictions ease
THE Whitsunday Brahmans have been given a clear date for when a decision needs to be made on the return of this year's rugby league season.
The team was part of a meeting with Rugby League Mackay and District on Wednesday night, which outlined the possibility of returning to the field by July.
Brahmans' manager Bryce Fraser said clubs were committed to having the sport return, but were aware that under current social distancing restrictions it would not be viable.
Under stage 3 of the Queensland Government's restriction plan, 100 people would be allowed to gather outdoors come July 12.
"A hundred people would get you the two teams of players, volunteers, staff and officials," he said.
"Once we factor in the level of cleaning needed to be conducted after a match, it wouldn't be viable without upping that 100-person limit," Fraser said.
"It was outlined in the meeting that unless changes happen before June 30 and we could go up to 500 people in stage 3, returning to the field just won't happen."
Fraser said clubs were acutely aware of maintaining volunteer numbers and didn't want to put undue pressure on the club's backbone.
He said the Brahmans relied on a supportive base of volunteers and it would be "painful" for them to lose the love of the sport due to stressful restrictions.
"There's the possibility of turning match day from a five-hour event into an eight or nine-hour event when you factor in things like cleaning and social distancing," he said.
"We don't have the volunteer numbers to risk losing them because of the current restrictions.
"It's going to be a short season regardless and no clubs are really worse off if a call is made now, or in three weeks' time, so we are happy to wait it out and see."
Fraser said the move by Toowoomba Rugby League to cancel its season earlier this week would not influence the decision of the Mackay District.
"A lot can change between now and the end of next month so it's too early to call it," he said.
"But now we know if it's not by June 30, and if stage 3 doesn't lift to 500 people, it's unlikely to happen."