Meninga not consulted on Roos tour axing

Pamela Whaley and Laine Clark
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RUGBY KANGAROOS ANNOUNCEMENT

Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga says it would be premature to cancel the tour of Great Britain

Australia coach Mal Meninga says he has not been consulted over the potential axing of the Kangaroos Tour at the end of the year despite a decision expected to be made on Thursday.

The Australian Rugby League Commission will hold one of the most significant meetings in their history as they decide whether to cancel or reschedule some of the biggest events on the NRL calendar.

One of the most important calls is expected to be the cancellation of the Kangaroo Tour of England in October and November - the first of its kind since 2003.

Meninga has long campaigned to reignite the historic tradition of Kangaroos Tours, but told AAP on Wednesday he believes it's too premature to cancel it now.

"I haven't been consulted or spoken to about it. I assumed it would be an agenda item closer to the end of the year but would think it's too premature to cancel it now," he said.

"I am understanding if it is, but only when it is very obvious it's not viable."

The NRL is desperately scrambling to cut costs to keep its head above water as they brace for financial ruin over the coronavirus pandemic.

Should the ARLC decide to cancel the tour it would allow for the NRL season to be extended, or potentially State of Origin to be moved until the end of the year to give it every chance of being played in front of a crowd.

State of Origin is the game's showpiece event and the NRL view it as essential to their salvation.

Following a telephone hook up between the NRL and all 16 clubs on Wednesday, the game looks set to present a unified front to push on with the competition for as long as possible to uphold broadcast obligations.

The ARLC is also set to discuss a potential lock down of the clubs, either in one location, or imposing quarantine restrictions on each team.

Brisbane are ready to quarantine their entire 30-man squad after setting up a base to house their NRL players and staff.

In extraordinary preparation for a lock down, the Broncos have had the facility that is located across the road from the club's headquarters in quarantine since last week.

"What I do know is that we are in a really great situation, we've locked down the Cyril Connell Centre," said Broncos coach Anthony Seibold on Wednesday.

"We have over 30-odd bunk beds in there that we have got ready for whatever reason the competition has to go into isolation and we are locked down.

"We have had that quarantined since before last weekend in preparation for something like that."

A facility in Calliope in central Queensland has put their hand up to host the 16 NRL teams should the NRL decide to take the competition north to reduce the risk of infection.

The NRL will forge ahead in round two, starting on Thursday night with the Bulldogs and North Queensland at ANZ Stadium.

In another cut to costs, state competitions in NSW and Queensland have been suspended.

NSWRL have suspended all competitions until May 31, with the Warriors to sit out the entire NSW Cup season, while community rugby league has been suspended until at least May 1.

Queensland Rugby League has suspended their four statewide competitions until June 5 and all junior and senior community rugby league until at least the first weekend of May.