GOATS WILL HAVE TO WAIT JUST A LITTLE (OR A LOT) LONGER: Jyde Dwyer (fourth back from right) with his new Goats team-mates.
GOATS WILL HAVE TO WAIT JUST A LITTLE (OR A LOT) LONGER: Jyde Dwyer (fourth back from right) with his new Goats team-mates.

BREAKING: Codes under pressure to postpone competitions

RUGBY UNION: The Rugby Capricornia competition won't go ahead until at least May 2 at the earliest because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

It means Gladstone rugby fans won't be seeing the Gladstone Rugby Union Football Club Goats anytime soon.

Goats' president and player Seamus O'Connor said it was an unfortunate situation but the safety and health welfare of players was paramount.

"With so much uncertainty, it's better to err on the side of caution.," O'Connor said.

"At the end of the day sport is a luxury not an essential, so we need to think about what's best for our community and put that first."

Put simply the other winter codes' associations linked with Gladstone competitions in Aussie Rules, soccer, netball, hockey and basketball are under pressure to follow suit.

Rugby Capricornia's move was on the back of an announcement by Rugby Australia on Monday afternoon relating to COVID-19 and community rugby across Australia.

Queensland Rugby Union has suspended all affiliated and sanctioned community rugby competitions.

The recommended suspension would leave a window from May 2 through to September 12, preserved for local club competitions to be played, if circumstances allow.

QRU chief executive David Hanham said safety comes first and not sport.

"This public health emergency we're working through is unprecedented and Monday's announcement on community rugby takes into account all the relevant information provided by public health bodies, government and Rugby Australia," he said.

"We're putting in place policies and procedures that don't place players, volunteers, staff and other stakeholders at unnecessary risk.

"This moratorium on community Rugby also allows the QRU time to plan at the community level and implement new participation/competition structures that would allow Queenslanders to participate in Rugby within the designated window, should circumstances allow.

"We will continue work with our clubs and affiliate bodies on measures to assist them during this challenging period, we're mindful that this global heath-crisis is bigger than sport and the health and welfare of the communities of Queensland remain our priority."

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