We suspect that Australian Rugby League will be getting some new followers as the NRL swings back into post-Covid action in just ten days time, albeit behind closed doors and under strict health control measures.
In a nation crying out for a return to some semblance of normality, the reintroduction of the full-blooded Aussie league will have old and new British based supporters setting their alarm clocks to help themselves to a feast of club rugby.
When does it all get going, and how early am I going to have to get up?
With the first two rounds having already been played prior to the pandemic, the new shortened competition will start at round three and kicks off at 10:50 AM UK time on Friday the 28th May as the Brisbane Broncos take on the Paramatta Eels. Paramatta are two wins from two while the Broncos have won one and lost one from their opening two games.
The rest of the weekend lines up as follows;
29/5 – 09:00 – North Queensland v. Gold Coast Titans
29/5 – 10:55 – Sydney Roosters v. South Sydney Rabbitohs
30/5 – 06:00 – New Zealand Warriors v. St George Illawarra Dragons
30/5 – 08:30 – Cronulla-Sutherlands Sharks v. Wests Tigers
30/5 – 10:35 – Melbourne Storm v. Canberra Raiders
31/5 – 07:05 – Penrith Panthers v. Newcastle Knights
31/5 – 09:30 – Manly Sea Eagles v. Canterbury Bulldogs
All games will be broadcast live on both Sky Sports Arena and Watch NRL as the sports hungry population of the world get ready for their first decent feed since coming out of hibernation.
The restart has not been without controversy. There have been issues over player salaries, compulsory flu vaccines and disciplinary action taken against players breaking lock down rules, but ten days from now we will be back and watching the sport that we all love, with our fingers crossed that it may soon be safe enough in the UK that our own domestic game is not too far behind.
If you fancy yourself as a match reporter, and would like to try your hand at a game or two over the coming weeks (for publication on RLFANS.COM) then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll work out the details.