Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Sunshine Coast Falcons CEO Chris Flannery. Photo Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Crucial meeting gives chance to make lifeline play

A PIVOTAL meeting on Monday looms as a chance to push for a lifeline for the Sunshine Coast Falcons and other Intrust Super Cup clubs currently in limbo.

Falcons CEO Chris Flannery said frustration was growing among the state league club bosses, after the Queensland Rugby League decision to cancel the 2020 season remained unchanged.

He said as other sports and the NRL began to activate restart plans, the frustrations only grew.

Lobbying was currently under way for a southeast Queensland competition between southeast Queensland Intrust Super Cup, Brisbane and Gold Coast clubs.

Those discussions were in their infancy, with funding, logistic and other hurdles to be identified and overcome.

A phone hook-up was scheduled on Monday between Intrust Super Cup club CEOs and NRL bosses Peter V'landys and Andrew Abdo.

Ipswich Jets Intrust Super Cup trial against the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Falcons' Todd Murphy. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Ipswich Jets Intrust Super Cup trial against the Sunshine Coast Falcons. Falcons' Todd Murphy. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Flannery tipped it would be a prime opportunity for bosses to outline exactly where they sit to the game's top officials, as they sought to impress the importance of a functioning state league competition in both New South Wales and Queensland for the NRL.

He said the prospect of a 6-10 month window without playing was massive for the development of players trying to forge an NRL career, given their entire career window may only be 10 years for many of them.

Fringe players currently training with the NRL side may not even be able to return to the Falcons should a competition be rolled out, if health restrictions forbid it.

"It's a really tough spot for those players," Flannery said.

"It could definitely impact the NRL in years to come without those players coming through."

At a club level he said Falcons' sponsors had been "amazing" in the face of the pandemic, standing behind the Coast's top team.

Melbourne Storm-contracted Falcons players Darryn Schonig, Nicho Hynes and Trent Loiero at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Melbourne Storm-contracted Falcons players Darryn Schonig, Nicho Hynes and Trent Loiero at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily

He said season members had also been stoic, with no requests for money back, despite the prospect they may not see a tackle made again in 2020.

Flannery said the NRL and state league clubs were to a large extent waiting on the outcome of the revised TV rights deal, before they could formulate their future plans.

He said the new deal, which was still being thrashed out, would essentially dictate how clubs could move forward, what their funding level would be and what impact it would have on pay and staff cuts.