NSW Rugby League boss David Trodden believes more leeway should be given to country leagues like Group Nine being played this year, arguing the risk is significantly less than in Sydney.
Like all sports the NSWRL were hopeful the state government would announce a return to play date for all community sport earlier this week, but only gave the green light for junior sport to resume from July 1.
It means everyone is in a holding pattern, with Trodden conceding it is difficult to envisage a viable season being run if it can't begin by July 18.
Wagga doesn't have any current cases of COVID-19, and Trodden feels it would be unfair to treat the Riverina's situation the same as their city counterparts.
Asked if country football should be given more leeway by authorities, Trodden said: "I do, for two reasons.
"One is the community benefit aspect, but the other is the reason you prohibit associations is the risk profile, and the risk profile in regional areas seems to be significantly less than Sydney.
"The logic would say there's not as great a need to restrict that level of public association as significantly in regional areas, particularly in areas that haven't really had any cases of COVID-19, or current cases."
Group Nine will need crowds to be financially viable, but Trodden believes the hurdles could be easier to clear than in Sydney.
He added the importance of sport for the morale of country areas is a factor authorities should consider.
"The situation in regional NSW is a bit different to Sydney, because you're talking about fewer numbers in the crowd, and therefore those people are generally more well spaced potentially around the ground," he said.
"The other thing which shouldn't be underestimated is sporting clubs in regional NSW, whether they're rugby league or not, are the focal point of the community.
"There's so much additional community benefit to be derived from going to footy on the weekend outside of the actual game itself.
"I don't think that should be underestimated when people give consideration on whether crowds should be allowed."
- Full interview in Saturday's paper