Weekend Herald

Brown wary of World Cup participat­ion

- Christophe­r Reive

Warriors coach Nathan Brown has voiced his concern about the Rugby League World Cup going ahead this year, asking for people to “look at the common sense of it”.

It was yesterday confirmed that the tournament scheduled for late October to late November will go ahead in England as planned, after initial thoughts it would be postponed a year due to Covid-19.

Having recently relocated from Central Coast to Queensland due to an outbreak of the virus, Brown was wary of the risks involved in staging the Cup.

“We are in isolation up here because there are 65 people a day in Sydney getting Covid; there’s 30,000 a day getting it in England,” Brown said. “You tell me where the common sense lies there?”

While 87 per cent of the adult population have had their first dose of the vaccine in the United Kingdom, and 67 per cent, their second, the UK is still registerin­g more than 42,300 cases of the virus and 49 Covidrelat­ed deaths in a day, according to Public Health England.

Although recent events such as football’s European Championsh­ips went ahead in front of large crowds in England, Brown said there was a

hesitancy around sending players into that environmen­t.

“As clubs, under normal circumstan­ces, you always want to promote and encourage players to play rep football,” Brown said.

“All clubs need rep players to be successful. We’ve got a strong Tongan

contingent, which has become a big force and a great promoter of our game now for the other countries.

“We’ve got a fair number of New Zealand players, we’ve got Samoan players. We’re probably the most multicultu­ral club in the competitio­n, and the World Cup at the right time is great for everyone.

“It’s just not the right time with what’s going on in the world at the moment and people having to isolate.

“For us as a club, to see most of our squad turn up in February, when we’re a new club as it is with a lot of new players and being on the road for two years straight, I would have thought it’s not the right move for the Warriors.”

The World Cup starts on October 23 and runs for five weeks.

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