The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) and National Rugby League (NRL) can provide the following update about the game’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership.
However, the Commission stressed that given the fluidity of the situation, all options are on the table and it will continue to act on expert advice, with the health and safety of its players the paramount consideration.
In order to continue to have the best expert advice, the ARLC has commissioned a biosecurity and pandemic expert to determine the best practices to minimise the risk of players being infected. The ARLC acknowledges that future options may include suspending games or isolating players.
In the interim, the NRL Telstra Premiership Season will continue in Round Two with stadiums closed to the general public.
The New Zealand Warriors will relocate to Kingscliff for one week while further work is done on the competition. Their home game against the Canberra Raiders will be played on the Gold Coast.
The NRL will continue to examine short and long term options to assist our clubs in remaining financially viable during this period. ARL Commission chair Peter V’landys said all options remained on the table regarding the completion of the 2020 season.
“All options remain on the table. We will continue to play but we will continue to act on the best and most up to date advice from authorities,” Mr V’landys said.
“The decisions we make today may change tomorrow as the situation is fluid and changing by the hour. My commitment is we will continue to listen to expert advice, be agile, and be ready to move in any direction necessary.
“I can’t stress enough that our game has never faced such challenges. The longer it takes the more pressure on our financial viability. It will have catastrophic consequences to the finances of the game.
“An Australia without rugby league is not Australia.”
Mr Greenberg said the NRL was committed to working with the 16 Clubs to manage the game’s response in the best interests of all involved.
“The rugby league community is a strong team and we will work together to get through this, ” Mr Greenberg said.
“The game has never faced anything like this before and we will do everything we can to keep our players healthy and our game strong.”