Super League: Toronto Wolfpack, Leeds Rhinos, Salford Red Devils impacted by coronavirus
Leeds Rhinos to furlough "nearly all" players and staff and make Headingley Stadium available to emergency front line services
By Sky Sports News
Last Updated: 01/04/20 6:13pm
Super League trio Toronto Wolfpack, Leeds Rhinos and Salford Red Devils were all impacted by coronavirus on Wednesday as the Canadians were forced to put their home bow on hold while clubs began furloughing staff.
The Wolfpack, in their first season in rugby league's top flight, have played the first six games of the season in England - as is customary due to the availability of their Lamport Stadium home.
With the sport on hold due to the outbreak and restrictions on entry to Canada in place, the club have moved to advise their planned three-game home-stand against Hull (April 18), Wigan (April 25) and St Helens (May 2) will not happen.
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"The Wolfpack are in daily consultation with the RFL, Super League and all clubs around the completion of the 2020 season, while also considering government healthcare guidance," a statement said.
"The RFL is currently building up a number of fixture remodelling schedules based around a restructured end of season, which maintains all Super League and Challenge Cup games.
"Toronto Wolfpack's home games scheduled for Saturday April 18 (vs Hull FC), Saturday April 25 (vs Wigan Warriors) and Saturday May 2 (vs St Helens) will unfortunately no longer take place on those dates. The club hopes that these three games can still take place in Toronto as part of a remodelled schedule."
As has been customary for Toronto since the club's inception, large numbers of players and staff are based in the UK, with 'home' games played in back-to-back chunks throughout the season.
Leeds, Red Devils begin furlough process
Leeds Rhinos have announced that the offices at Emerald Headingley have now closed however the club has made the stadium's facilities and accommodation available to the emergency response to the #coronavirus pandemic— Leeds Rhinos (@leedsrhinos) April 1, 2020
➡ More details available here https://t.co/6ZkM4pL1yF pic.twitter.com/C2HKgRqpnA
The Rhinos and the Red Devils both released statements on Wednesday saying that they have begun the process of furloughing players and staff due to the coronavirus crisis.
"Leeds Rhinos have announced that nearly all the club's staff and players will now be furloughed in line with government requirements which means that the ticket office and telephone lines will no longer be available for supporters to contact for the immediate future," the club said in a statement.
"Leeds Rhinos have also made Emerald Headingley Stadium available to the emergency front line services that are dealing with the current situation in our city.
"The Headingley Lodge has been made available for front line workers who may need to isolate themselves from family who are showing symptoms plus the stadium has been made available for any other needs the local authorities may require."
Meanwhile, the Red Devils said in a statement: "Following the suspension of the 2020 Betfred Super League season, Salford Red Devils have placed the majority of staff on furlough leave.
"This measure has been taken to ensure job security for all employees and protect the club's future.
"Salford Red Devils will continue to keep supporters updated on the club's activity throughout the suspended season across the website and social media channels."