Friend questions different NRL standards

Sydney Roosters co-captain Jake Friend is questioning how the NRL can continue playing while several services have been shut due to the coronavirus pandemic.

JAKE FRIEND of the Roosters passes during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at the SCG in Sydney, Australia.
JAKE FRIEND of the Roosters passes during a Sydney Roosters NRL training session at the SCG in Sydney, Australia. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Sydney Roosters veteran Jake Friend admits he's questioning how the NRL can play on while other businesses are forced to shut during the coronavirus pandemic.

Friend is a small business owner himself and faces the prospect of closing his Randwick cafe High St Society if takeaway sales aren't big enough.

The 30-year-old has already had to lay off staff due to the situation, while others are working fewer hours amid the ban on visitors dining in.

The Roosters co-captain still wants the NRL to continue and hopes to run out against arch-rivals South Sydney on Friday night at ANZ Stadium.

The NRL have said they will continue to play as long as they are told they can by government and health authorities, as well as biosecurity and pandemic experts.

But Friend can understand why people have questioned how the high-contact sport can continue, when gyms, cafes and pubs have closed to try to contain the spread of the virus.

"I can understand completely (people questioning that)," Friend said.

"I obviously have the same thoughts as everyone I would say. I want to continue to play as a player, that's our job and that's what we love to do.

"But then there is another part of me that you see all these different regulations and stuff come in.

"I've seen it at the cafe and you wonder, is it doing harm by having two sets of standards? Why are we special? I don't know.

"Obviously everyone would have thought about a million different scenarios and thought about this stuff. I'm no different, I don't really have the answers."

The vast majority of sports around the world have shut down, while the NRL is concerned about financial issues that could see it lose about $13 million per round it doesn't play.

Off-contract at the end of the year, Friend also admitted he, like many others, was anxious about his future during the pandemic.

But he insisted he had no concerns over continuing training at Moore Park, with the Roosters one of the first clubs in the league to implement coronavirus measures a fortnight ago and players self-isolating.

Rival hooker for this weekend Damien Cook is also trying to manage his small business - a wellness centre - through the pandemic.


AAP