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NRL season on target for 28th May restart after agreement with broadcasters

NRL season on target for 28th May restart after agreement with broadcasters
April 24, 2020
Sport /

Following extensive meetings during the week, NRL television broadcasters Channel Nine and Foxtel have agreed to recognise 28th May as the competition recommencement date.

With the NRL have been working to a restart of its competition on 28th May over recent weeks, Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) Chairman Peter V'landys advised AAP this evening that the NRL and broadcasters would finalise a competition structure early next week, as both parties want different outcomes.

V'landys advised “we were all united on the 28th May start. But just the competition structure, we need a little more time - but we (will) definitely announce it early next week.”

With the NRL announcing as of 9th April that it would restart its competition, seemingly at odds with government and public health authorities, the competition's 16 clubs have been told they can restart training on 4th May.

The agreement between the competition and the broadcasters comes two days after ARLC member Wayne Pearce said the league had been given the green light by governments to restart after establishing a new set of health and biosecurity protocols.

The NRL clubs are now expecting a biosecurity document detailing measures for returning to training, with clubs warned that breaches of health and safety measures will carry strict penalties, with the ABC reporting that this will include loss of competition points and fines.

Many clubs have already stood down the majority of their staff, with many relying on government assistance through JobKeeper to pay employees.

Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) Chief Executive Clint Newton said earlier this week he wanted to see more details before 28th May "is considered a definitive date" for players to return to the field.

In a statement Newton advised “these fundamental areas include assurances and protections relating to the health and safety of our members.

"The outstanding matters, such as confirmation that players will have access to the appropriate medical facilities and services should they be injured, are paramount before reaching a definitive return date."

NRL.com has reported that negotiations were underway to hold the State of Origin series after the grand final, but that consultations were needed between the RLPA, states and the clubs.

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18th April 2020 - NRL moves forward with competition resumption in late May

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

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

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

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