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Federal sports minister says NRL restart plan is ‘a bit ambitious’

Federal sports minister says NRL restart plan is ‘a bit ambitious’
April 13, 2020

Federal Sports Minister Richard Colbeck has labelled the NRL’s plans for its competition to resume as of 28th May as being a “bit ambitious”.

With the NRL announcing plans to restart at the end of next month, irrespective of governmental restrictions to slow the spread off Coronavirus, Senator Colbeck told ABC Radio this morning that while he wanted to see leagues return as soon as possible it had to be within reason.

Minister Colbeck advised “I think it’s a bit ambitious to be frank.

“If you consider the advice that we are still getting from people like (Chief Medical Officer) Brendan Murphy ... they’re the people who I think should be providing advice on these things.

“I think we need to be really cautious about the circumstances we are in. Yes, we are doing extremely well at the moment. But once the health authorities that are giving us advice give us the signal, we can start to relax some of those things.”

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy warned on Sunday he thought it was “premature” to be planning a comeback amid the Coronavirus while Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced yesterday that border restrictions would not be eased for NRL clubs.

Premier Palaszczuk’s statement would suggest that the NRL’s three Queensland teams will have to base themselves in NSW if they want to play this year, and would face a 14-day quarantine whenever they return home.

The NRL, meanwhile, has advised that it possesses a letter from the NSW Police Commissioner Michael Fuller saying they can return behind closed doors on the proviso they provide a safe workplace.

Commissioner Fuller has been given extended powers during the Coronavirus and the document has a NSW Government State Emergency Operations Centre letterhead.

The NRL insists that as of its restart players will abide by strict biosecurity measures while playing, including having their temperature checked at least three times on game day.

The NRL is confident the drop in the rate of new cases will ensure it is playing a safe environment when the game returns in just over six weeks.

Related Articles

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9th April 2020 - Broadcaster accuses NRL of ‘mismanagement’ as league announces plans to recommence on 28th May

5th April 2020 - NRL players to lose five months’ pay as part of new shutdown deal

30th March 2020 - NRL slashes costs and backs clubs through Coronavirus crisis

29th March 2020 - New Australian Government regulations demand public gatherings of no more than two people

27th March 2020 - NRL and state leagues announce cancellation of competitions and representative programs

26th March 2020 - NRL players face 87% wage cut as clubs stand down staff and coaches

24th March 2020 - NRL announces season suspension

16th March 2020 - Vodafone Warriors to play NRL season matches in Australia

14th March 2020 - Queensland Country Bank Stadium hosts first NRL fixture

13th March 2020 - AFL and NRL seasons to go ahead behind closed doors due to Coronavirus fears

11th March 2020 - NRL’s Bulldogs lose $2 million sponsorship following player scandal

3rd March 2020 - NRL post second consecutive $30 million surplus

24th February 2020 - Federal Sports Minister considers big changes in Government funding arrangements

23rd September 2019 - Federal Sport Minister backs Active Nation Day events

27th October 2018 - Australian Sports Ministers endorse new domestic veterans sporting event


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