Criticism 'ill-advised and misguided' says NZ RL boss
New Zealand Rugby League (NZRL) boss Greg Peters has labelled criticism directed at his organisation and its Australian counterpart as 'ill-advised and misguided'.
Just hours on from the NZRL and the Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) jointly withdrawing from the 2021 Rugby League World Cup – to be held in England – owing to player welfare concerns amid the ongoing global Covid-19 pandemic, they have come under a stunning verbal attack.
An angry Rugby Football League (RFL) chairman, Simon Johnson, came off the back fence with claims the decision from the Anzacs was “selfish, parochial and cowardly'.
Peters said the RFL (the governing body for professional rugby league in England) and World Cup organisers had come up short in providing the level of detail that would bring 100 per cent confidence New Zealand players and staff would be kept safe.
The Kiwis could still play in 2021 despite pulling out of the Rugby League World Cup.
NZRL had until July 31 to commit to a participation agreement, meaning it was satisfied with World Cup organisers’ Covid-19 safety protocols.
"We are unable to do that," Peters said to the media Down Under.
As an employer, NZRL needed to be able to guarantee the safety of its staff and there was a serious duty of care when placing them into a situation such as England where Covid-19 cases are back on the rise again, Peters said.