The extension of restrictions which limit gatherings to 10 people in Auckland has forced the cancellation of the remainder of the season for all Auckland Rugby League grades.

The Government announced last Friday that level 2.5 restrictions – which include the gathering limit of 10 – would be extended through until at least September 16 in Auckland, ruling out a possible return to play on September 12-13.

The decision – which has the full backing of the ARL Board of Directors – means all grades from U13 up are now cancelled, with mini/mod (U6-U12) grades having already been cancelled last week. 

No winners will be declared for any grades.

Auckland Rugby League CEO Greg Whaiapu said as well as running out of time to safely complete the season before the impending New Zealand Rugby League National Competitions and the start of the summer sports season, the ARL has an obligation to prioritise the health and safety of all participants.

“It’s unfortunate news to be delivering and an outcome none of us wanted,” Whaiapu said. 

“In making this decision we considered, among other things, the fact that teams have not been able to complete contact training for several weeks due to the restrictions in place, and therefore would be put at a higher risk of suffering injury if asked to return straight into games.

“While we pushed the proposed return to play date back as far as we could, the reality is there is no longer enough weeks left to safely complete our season either. 

“At this point I’d like to acknowledge the work of our clubs and the people involved with them, through what has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone.”

This cancellation applies to club grades only and at this stage does not impact planned Auckland Rugby League representative games or Kiwi Tag modules scheduled for later in the year.