THE UNSPOKEN SPORTING CASUALTY OF COVID-19

Jackson Thomas

I have been riding this train pretty hard since talks first started.

But sadly it's looking set to be another one of those cruel 'what could have been' rugby league stories.

New York Rugby League (NYRL) was close to a lock, before the global pandemic hit the sports world - and before the city became a hot spot for the virus.

Naturally, it slammed the breaks on any hope the new franchise had of establishing footy roots in the concrete jungle.

The bid for NYRL has been an uphill grind for all involved for the past three-four years. But the tough part was over.

The cashed-up club was ready to start recruiting Aussie/NZ players.

What could have been man.

The pre-covid plan for NYRL was sick, and an opportunity NRL fringe players or veterans on the back nine of their careers would have thrived in.

I spoke with a man involved in the bid before all this shit went down.

Imagine how sick this could have been...

- First, it's in fucking New York.

- Second, the team were to play in the UK Super League's third tier comp (like Toronto started in) and try work their way into Super League.

- Games were to be played in two week blocks home/away to avoid travel.

- Open training sessions/combines would be held to scout local talent.

- Failed NFL prospects that were not drafted would be invited to join and learn of the Aussies.

- The side would have been using the NY Jets training facilities initially. I reckon their gym set-ups go alright.

- The Rock had expressed interest in becoming an ambassador (this is what I was told alright, don't shoot the messenger)  

- Games would be played at Red Bull Arena and shared with the MLS side (25,000).

- The bid was being part-funded by some mystery real estate mogul.

- As a 'major NY sports franchise' the players were to be given box seats to a number of games/special events at MSG each season.

If you're a young player looking at heading overseas to play in 2021 and beyond, assuming we are past this virus, surely have a look at NY.

 

 



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