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Coronavirus Update: NRL season set to resume in May

  • The NRL is aiming to return by May 28
NRL

Coronavirus Update: NRL season set to resume in May


The ARL Commission has announced the NRL is planning to restart the competition on May 28 after its innovations committee and the ARL Commission met on Thursday.

NRL.com.au reports that a phone hook-up was then held with representatives from each of the 16 clubs to discuss the rescheduling required for the 2020 Telstra Premiership. 

ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce, who is heading up the innovations committee, said providing some clarity to participants was paramount during the process.

 "I'm pleased to announce we're planning a competition start on May 28," Pearce said.

"The details on the competition structure we haven't got yet because the landscape is changing around government boundaries. That will feed into the complexity structure.

"Today what we landed on was a starting date.

"We haven't finalised what that [competition] looks like yet. Why we want to firm up a date is to give certainty to players and their schedules, clubs and thousands of people who are out of work through clubs and millions of fans.

"It's a mark for everyone to work towards that's associated with the game."

Roosters coach Trent Robinson, Raiders CEO Don Furner, RLPA CEO Clint Newton, former NSW Deputy Premier Troy Grant and the NRL's chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo, chief corporate affairs officer Liz Deegan and head of football Graham Annesley are also on the innovations committee.

Pearce admitted it's an ever-evolving scenario.

"Because we're talking about seven weeks away the landscape is changing significantly," he said.

"It was only a few days ago it was looking like we were having to go into an isolation bubble scenario with the support of a state government who are doing a fantastic job.

"The rate of increase in infections has come right down."

Pearce also stated that he does not anticipate there will be a change to the competition format that already exists.

"We're leaning towards a competition structure that looks more aligned with what we've currently got. We're not going to the conference scenario at the moment," he said.

"We've currently got support from the NSW government in terms of if we adhere to public health guidelines and make sure our players follow those guidelines we are able to train and play provided we have strict measures around testing the players and put other protocols in place to minimise the risk of infection within the playing group and community.

"What's really important for us is the welfare issue. We're working with respective governments - NZ, Victorian and Queensland - for teams that have to travel. The welfare issue of players being away from families is a significant factor we need to address."

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