The NRL Telstra Premiership 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.
"Today is a landmark day for rugby league in 2020," V'landys said.
"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 set to be put in place when training commences for all clubs on May 4.
The NRL continues 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."
Under the 20-round format, teams will play five opposition clubs twice in the revamped competition before a normal finals series takes place.
V'landys confirmed last week that it was inevitable State of Origin would be shifted to a three-week event in November for the first time in four decades.
Details around the grounds in use are also set to be confirmed but whether fans are able to attend matches later in the season will be known as the weeks go if restrictions are eased.