Monday 23 March
Gareth Ellis has admitted the severity of the coronavirus pandemic has firmly set in, with the Hull players advised to stay away from training. He said in his column for The Yorkshire Post: “It wasn’t until I thought about that that I realised this really is something serious. At first, I was expecting games would be off but we’d be able to train. Then we got a message saying that we wouldn’t be able to train but we would be coming in. It’d be just once per week, though, we’d be in small groups and we’d have a certain time slot in which to attend.”
Phil Gould has predicted that a number of NRL clubs will struggle to survive financially after the season was officially suspended this morning due to the coronavirus. “Some [clubs] get their funding and revenues from different sources. So how it affects these clubs will be different across the board, but I guarantee there’s half a dozen clubs that will be extremely vulnerable in this time. As you know we’ve had clubs on sustainability funding from the league for a number of years who still owe money, so there’s no chance of that getting repaid,” he said on Channel Nine’s 100% Footy show.
John Bateman says he’s not surprised about the immediate impact former teammate Aiden Sezer has made at Huddersfield Giants after playing alongside him in Canberra’s successful season in 2019. He told The Yorkshire Post’s Dave Craven: “He played a big part in getting us to where we did with that Grand Final. There’d been whispers through the year that he might be going to Super League and, when it came to it, he did ask me a lot of questions about Huddersfield, where to live, the competition and things like that.When I was back in England, I spoke to him, too, and I knew just what he was capable of.”