Rugby League Expert & Columnist
Last Updated: 26/06/20 10:00pm
Brian Carney believes the excitement he has for the return of Super League will be shared by so many others whatever their involvement in rugby league.
It was confirmed on Friday the top flight of the sport in this country will resume with three fixtures on Sunday, August 2 – all of which will be live on Sky Sports – and aiming for the Grand Final at the end of November.
The 2020 season was placed on hold in March following the seventh round of matches due to the coronavirus pandemic and Sky Sports rugby league presenter Carney is in no doubt news of Super League’s return will be a huge boost for many.
“It’s been such a difficult period for people on so many levels – and very sad levels – over the last four or so months,” Carney told Sky Sports News.
“The game is the people; the people who play the game, the people who watch the game, the people who own the clubs, the people who go out on weekends with their kids to community clubs.
“For all of those people, this is a special day because they get to know now when the elite-level competition is coming back.
“I know from speaking to people on the phone how desperate they are for rugby league to return. Unfortunately, they won’t be able to go to the games in person…but I’m really excited and can’t wait to get into work again to cover these matches.”
August 2 will mark the resumption of Super League after a 140-day absence, with the clash between Hull Kingston Rovers and Toronto Wolfpack getting the competition underway, followed by St Helens against Catalans Dragons and Huddersfield Giants versus Leeds Rhinos.
Former Super League player Carney is eager to see how the players have fared during the suspension of the season.
“The strength and conditioning departments of each club will have been working hard in very difficult circumstances,” Carney said.
“They’ll be desperate to get their players back out on the field and it’s only then they can judge where they’re at physically. Then it’s straight into one of the most physical sports you’ll see on TV.
“It’s going to be tough for the players, but I expect them to hit the ground running. They’re supreme athletes and I’m sure they’ll have looked after themselves.”
The three matches, which are all re-arranged games postponed earlier in the year, will be played at a to-be-confirmed neutral venue behind closed doors.
“It’ll bring a different atmosphere for people watching at home and out on the field,” Carney.
“But what I do believe is if you’re watching you will hear the collisions these players put their body through louder than ever before. It will give you an idea of the physical exertions of these Super League athletes.”