Coronavirus: NRL players facing one final pay cheque – Raiders' Hodgson

By Sports Desk March 26, 2020

Canberra Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson said NRL players are facing one final pay cheque as Australia's rugby league competition feels the pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NRL announced on Monday it was suspending its 2020 season until further notice amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed at least 21,200 people worldwide.

The financial impact is set to hit NRL clubs hard, like many sports and leagues around the world, and Englishman Hodgson is unsure what the future holds.

"There is a potential we may not get anything," Hodgson said.

"We only finished playing last week. To say we might not even get paid in two weeks is a weird one.

"I think we are guaranteed one pay but after that I am not sure."

The Raiders opened their new multi-million-dollar Centre of Excellence only three weeks ago, but it will shut down on Friday with all staff placed on indefinite leave.

"Some of that is paid, some of that is unpaid for those that don't have any annual leave left," Raiders CEO Don Furner said on Thursday.

"The coaching staff are here for another month and there's uncertainty about what we'll be doing with them after the end of April, more than likely they'll be taking unpaid leave.

"We've got young staff here that are pregnant, just about to give birth, some have bought houses, some are not sure what their job prospects are and then the same with the football staff, there's not a lot of jobs available in that space.

"With regards to the players, we're still working with the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) in terms of what will happen with their pays going forward.

"We've just moved into this facility here. It costs a lot to run and we're shutting it down. We're emptying the pools, cutting back on ground maintenance, cleaning services, all your regular services that you would normally utilise are all being cut back because we cannot afford to run this place.

"It's magnificent, we only opened it three weeks ago, the staff are all moving in today and tomorrow from Bruce and that will be their last day."

Related items

  • Tedesco dazzles as Roosters down Rabbitohs, Cowboys hammer Titans Tedesco dazzles as Roosters down Rabbitohs, Cowboys hammer Titans

    James Tedesco scored a brilliant solo try as Sydney Roosters beat South Sydney Rabbitohs 28-12, while North Queensland Cowboys also resumed the NRL season with a derby win on Friday.

    The Roosters lost their first two games before the campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus in March, but they were too good for their city rivals behind closed doors at Bankwest Stadium.

    Daniel Tupou dotted down after rising to take a kick from Luke Keary just three minutes in and Kyle Flanagan went under the posts to round off a slick move as the Roosters turned on the style.

    Cameron Murray got the Rabbitohs on the board with a try five minutes before the break, but Tedesco showed great power and pace to go on his own for a score just after the interval.

    Boyd Cordner crashed over to give the two-time defending champions further breathing space before Tom Burgess forced his way over to give the Bunnies hope on the hour mark.

    Trent Robinson's side had the final say, though, Jake Friend racing onto his own kick to finish and Flanagan converting to take his tally to 12 points in a second loss of the season for Souths.

    It does not appear the break did Gold Coast Titans any good as they were thrashed 36-6 by the rampant Cowboys.

    The Titans have now lost 14 in a row after they were blown away at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, the lively Valentine Holmes laying on three of six tries.

    Reece Robson and Ben Hampton scored doubles in a second victory out of three for North Queensland.

  • Brisbane Broncos 6-34 Parramatta Eeels: Visitors maintain unbeaten start as NRL season resumes Brisbane Broncos 6-34 Parramatta Eeels: Visitors maintain unbeaten start as NRL season resumes

    Parramatta Eels made it three wins from three by thrashing the previously undefeated Brisbane Broncos 34-6 as the NRL season resumed on Thursday.

    The competition had been on a two-month hiatus, enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, but Brad Arthur's team picked up where they left off to maintain their 100 per cent start behind closed doors at Suncorp Stadium.

    Marata Niukore and Maika Sivo went over in the first half while Clinton Gutherson, Michael Jennings, Shaun Lane and Waqa Blake all touched down in the second half, with Brodie Croft scoring the Broncos' only try.

    It took only three minutes for the Eels to get on the board, Niukore side-stepping Anthony Milford en route to going over.

    Croft, who twice failed pre-match temperature checks before eventually passing one that allowed him to play, responded by going over after fooling Parramatta with a dummy pass, but that was as good as it got for Brisbane, who were behind at the break thanks to Sivo's fine score in the corner.

    Gutherson got in on the act shortly after the restart and Jennings and Lane went over in quick succession late on to put the game beyond the Broncos' reach.

    Blake wrapped up the rout by marking his 100th NRL appearance with a try and Mitchell Moses was on target with five of his six conversions on a good night for the Eels.

  • Coronavirus: NSW premier 'can't see' crowds at NRL in July, V'landys says fans should be back Coronavirus: NSW premier 'can't see' crowds at NRL in July, V'landys says fans should be back

    New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian "can't see" crowds returning to the NRL as soon as July 1 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys said recently he was hoping capped crowds could be back in stadiums in just over a month's time.

    The NRL will restart its season on Thursday, having been suspended in March due to COVID-19.

    But while Berejiklian is happy to see the NRL resume, she doubts crowds will be back as early as July 1.

    "I can't see that happening on that date," she told a news conference on Thursday.

    Berejiklian added: "A lot of people are looking forward to that [the season restarting] and I'm glad there's some normality coming back to New South Wales."

    Australia has successfully flattened the coronavirus curve, having last recorded at least 50 daily cases on April 17.

    V'landys, whose relentless approach has drawn some criticism, believes crowds should have been allowed into the Brisbane Broncos' clash with the Parramatta Eels on Thursday.

    "There should be [crowds]," he told 2GB.

    "I see no reason why there can't be and you've got to base it on data, not emotional, scaremongering cliches. That's what they do.

    "They bring up these cliches that put fear into people, but yet they've got nothing to back them up, they've got no data to show.

    "The infection rate is less than half a per cent, how low do we need to get it?"

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.