Despite the excitement that has been building since early April when the NARL (North American Rugby League) debut season was announced, there has been a major setback in the development of Rugby League in North America today.
The Western Division will not run in 2021, leaving only the six teams in the Eastern Conference to compete in the first ever professional season kicking off on June 19.
The statement in full reads as follows and can be found on NARL official media outlets.
“Due to circumstances beyond NARL’s control, the six Western Division teams (Las Vegas, Phoenix, Austin, San Diego, San Francisco and Portland) will not be able to participate in match play this year.
“we have unfortunately been unable to secure the high level of insurance”
“While we have made tremendous advances in the development of these teams and the league as a whole, we have unfortunately been unable to secure the high level of insurance we feel is necessary to ensure that all of the players are adequately covered while playing for the NARL.
“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the insurance problem”
The health and well being of the players and coaches is, obviously, a top priority for us, and we will not allow any of the athletes on the field without knowing they are very well protected. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the insurance problem for the Western Conference teams because those players would have been cohabitating and that created an issue for the insurers.
“it is the prudent approach to an unfortunate situation”
While this situation is certainly not optimal, we believe (after thoughtful consideration) that it is the prudent approach to an unfortunate situation. The six teams will remain a part of the NARL and will be ready to participate in the 2022 match play.
To all of our fans and supporters, thank you for your kindness and encouragement these past 6 months. We look forward to sharing the games of the Eastern Division teams every Saturday this summer and to delivering amazing rugby for many years to come.