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NRL announces 2020 season resumption plans

  • The 20-round competition will resume on May 28
Cameron Smith
The NRL is set to resume at the end of May (Getty Images)

The NRL season will recommence as a 20-round competition on May 28 with the grand final to be played on October 25. 

Australian Rugby League Commission Chair Peter V’landys confirmed the details late on Tuesday afternoon after extensive consultation with broadcast partners, clubs, and key stakeholders over the past month. 

The ARLC announced: 

  • The first two rounds of the competition will be counted and the current competition ladder remains in place when games resume
  • The competition draw will be determined in the coming weeks, including the timing of State of Origin
  • Strict protocols, known as the Project Apollo protocols, will be introduced for players, club officials and staff, and will be tougher than the current public health guidelines
  • Players will face sanctions if they breach protocols

V'Landy's described today's outcome as a "landmark day for rugby league in 2020". 

"This is a great outcome for our players, fans, partners and stakeholders and I'm extremely appreciative for the cooperation and support from Hugh Marks and Patrick Delany. 

"Both have always acted in good spirit and have demonstrated how partners work together." 

The NRL’s working group, Project Apollo, will meet on Wednesday to continue preparations to resume the season, including stringent biosecurity measures, which will be implemented when clubs are cleared to train on May 4.

The NRL will continue to work with the federal and state governments for player travel between borders, while the Warriors are set to arrive in Australia on Sunday and relocate to Tamworth where they'll undergo a strict 14-day isolation period. 

"Our players will be safer under our protocols than they would be as regular members of the community," V'landys said. 

"It's safer now to play then it was in round two when we were playing. The daily infection rate in NSW was 25.79 per cent when the last game was played. 

"It has been now less than one per cent in NSW for the last 18 days and is continuing to drop. There has also been a significant improvement in the recovery rate, being 75 per cent in NSW and 83 per cent in Australia." 

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