We might end up having to pull Nigel Staniforth out of a nursing home.Jamil Khalfan
Tom Goolagong and Nigel Staniforth are in the crosshairs of Emus' five-eighth Jamil Khalfan who's suggested the veteran pairing might have some fitness issues if the COVID-19 restrictions extend much longer.
"Nigel Staniforth's obviously an older bloke who's just had one off-season and if we don't end up playing until 2021 we might end up having to pull him out of a nursing home," Khalfan said.
"Tom Goolagong told me he's keen to get back into the season because that's when he really turns thing up but if we have three off-seasons in-a-row, it'll be 18 months before he gets back onto the paddock and does anything.
"I think a lot of the older blokes are more than happy with the time off." While it's fun to have a crack at your teammates, Khalfan's taking the lockout as seriously as anyone and thinks Rugby Australia is being a bit ambitious in setting May 1 as a potential return date.
"It's all speculation at this point but I believe, based on the protocols we've seen already, that we won't be back on the field this year," he said.
"It's a top-down approach so we use information we get from Rugby Australia and they do stand to lose a lot of financials if they call off the whole season now.
"I think it's wise to cross the 2020 season out."
As for the Emus and their fitness routines during the time off, Khalfan's put the responsibility on each individual and says it's up to them to stay in shape.
"The onus is on the players," he said. "There are programs available for those who are interested."
It's obviously no good when your rugby season gets postponed but Khalfan's taking a look at the bigger picture and says the responsibility his players have to keep fit are nothing compared to the responsibility everyone has to lend a hand during the pandemic. "We're just a bunch of blokes who are fortunate enough to throw the ball around a few times a week," he said.
"This is a major health crisis and we are taking all the necessary steps to protect our at-risk population.
"Orange Emus are offering any support to the local community from the use of our facilities (where possible) to mobilising anyone who needs the help."
The Emus aren't alone in their duty to stay on top of things during this unprecedented time as Orange City and all of the Blowes Clothing Cup sides will need to come up with their own ways of coping from a fitness and social standpoint.
As Khalfan mentioned, Rugby Australia is set to re-consider the potential return date on May 1 but based on speed of which COVID-19 is spreading, and the restrictions being enforced by the government, a comeback in four weeks seems like wishful thinking.
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