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The Magic Round has been locked in for Brisbane for the next two seasons after the NRL officially cancelled this year’s event due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The marquee event had initially been contracted to the Queensland Government for 2019 and 2020, with an option to extend the deal into the following two years.
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It has now been locked into Suncorp Stadium for 2021 and 2022, after the May 1-3 event this year was wiped out by the COVID-19 suspension.
“These are challenging times for our community and our game, but we had to take this action as there was simply no other option,” the NRL’s chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said.
“We have always said we would continue but only as long as it was safe to do so for our players, staff and the wider Rugby League community.
“We appreciate this will be disappointing for many people, but the NRL can assure fans that Magic Round Brisbane will return in 2021, bigger and better than ever.”
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Almost 135,000 fans attended the event last year, and that number was expected to be similar in 2020.
There has been a suggestion the round could be taken overseas in the future as a way to promote the sport.
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The NSW Government has also previously indicated it would be keen to bring the event to Sydney at one of its newly upgraded stadiums.
Meanwhile it has been announced the NSWRL has cancelled nine competitions for 2020, while the QRL has pulled the pin on four of their statewide comps.
The Canterbury Cup and Intrust Super Cup are among the competitions cancelled as the game deals with the uncertain and unprecedented situation surrounding the coronavirus.
“I know this will be a disappointing outcome for those involved in these competitions right across Australia, but the health and safety of those involved with rugby league must always come first,” Luke Ellis, the NRL’s head of football – participation, pathways and game development, said.
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“It was essential for us to at least give the players, clubs and staff some certainty going forward so they can focus on themselves and their families during this uncertain time.”
No final decision has been made on community rugby league as yet, as well as the Ron Massey Cup, Sydney Shield and the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership.
The cancelled competitions include:
National: Harvey Norman Women’s National Championship; National Schoolboys Championships; all Combined Affiliated States representative football
Queensland Rugby League: Intrust Super Cup; BHP Premiership; Hastings Deering Colts; Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup
New South Wales Rugby League: Canterbury Cup NSW; Jersey Flegg Cup (Under 20s); UNE SG Ball Cup (Under 18s); Laurie Daley Cup (Under 18s); Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup (Under 18s women); UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 16s); Andrew Johns Cup (Under 16s); Women’s Country Championships and Men’s Under 23s Country Championships.
Originally published asMagic Round cancelled as NSWRL and QRL pull pin on statewide comps
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