Whitsunday Brahmans celebrate becoming the 2019 RLM A-Grade premiers after defeating Wests Tigers 38-4 at BB Print Stadium.
Whitsunday Brahmans celebrate becoming the 2019 RLM A-Grade premiers after defeating Wests Tigers 38-4 at BB Print Stadium.

Premiers pull the pin on 2020 season

THE Rugby League Mackay & District reigning premiers have pulled the pin on the 2020 season.

The Whitsunday Brahmans committee met last night and voted to withdraw from all senior RLM competitions.

The junior teams are at this stage unaffected. 

Brahmans president Mick Malone contacted RLM chairman Adam Wright this morning to inform him of the club's decision.

The news comes after Rugby League Ipswich premiers Brothers Ipswich withdrew all of its grades on Monday - the same day Bundaberg Rugby League and Cairns District Rugby League pulled the pin on their competitions entirely.

Toowoomba Rugby League was the first domino to fall when it announced last week there would be no organised competition in 2020.

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Malone told the Daily Mercury this morning the decision to withdraw from the 2020 season came after careful consideration. He said the Brahmans' tough call was not influenced by the decisions of other clubs across the state.

"We made the decision by going through the QRL Return to Play handbook and looking at the protocols that were put in place by the QRL, not because of the decisions of other teams, clubs or divisions," Malone said.

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Malone said after the committee "went through all the facts and protocols provided by the QRL", it became apparent the restrictions that would be in place on resumption of a competition would be too great a burden.

"Just the amount of voluntary work that people would have to do to allow rugby league to go ahead," the president said.

"We only have a small volunteer base here."

Malone said in his conversation with Wright, the RLM chairman "fully understood" the club's position.

"He was very understanding," Malone said.

"We have a situation where, probably like the rest (of clubs), our players want to play football and we want them to play football."

Malone promised the club would return "bigger and better next year".

Wright said he sympathised with the Brahmans' position, adding the league and its clubs were "all in this situation together".   

But he reiterated the league was committed to getting a competition back up and running this year, with June 30 still the soft deadline to make a final decision.   

"It's unfortunate they made the decision now, but they've made that in their best interests," Wright said.   

"It's understandable. But from the league's point of view, we want to exhaust all possible avenues (to get back on the field) and we haven't quite done that yet."