Could the NRL return sooner than we think?

On Monday the ARLC chairman Peter V’Landys and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg announced that the NRL season will be suspended indefinitely due to the wide spread of Covid-19.

Over the last few weeks there were talks of the NRL moving every team along with staff to a small mining town called Calliope, near Gladstone, so that the competition could carry on.

However, the Queensland government has since decided to close it’s state borders which applied the pressure on V’Landys and Greenberg to make their announcement today.

I know quite a few people weren’t happy that the NRL didn’t suspend the competition much sooner, but the biggest organisation in the game were never going to play unless it was safe.

The NRL are working with some of the best pandemic and biosecurity experts, and things were put in place long before today’s announcement so that the players had every chance to keep on playing.

Moving forward I believe that the game can still be played in a months time if V’Landys and Greenberg push ahead with the move to central Queensland.

Calliope, near Gladstone, has been sounded out as the ideal remote location to continue the NRL season. Credit: campsaustraliawide.com

I understand that the Queensland government is closing their borders, but rumour has it that they have said to the NRL that they will relax on the rules so that games can be played.

If they haven’t said that, I believe that each club should be getting prepared to move and have 14 days in quarantine, then have a week’s worth of training, and in the fourth week start playing games again.

You may see my suggestion as selfish, but the players know within themselves that they have followed all the protocols regarding Covid-19 that has been handed down to them on expert advice.

The public, the clubs and the game itself needs the NRL to be played or we will be thrown back to the days where the first-grade players had to have a job and then play rugby league.

It’s unknown if or when the 2020 NRL season will resume. Credit: News Images

In the press conference when NRL CEO Todd Greenberg was asked ‘will all 16 clubs survive this?’ He paused for a bit and ARLC chairman Peter V’Landys jumped in.

The other night on NRL 360, St George Illawarra front-rower James Graham said: “During the war the players offered themselves as soldiers, during the recent bush fires the players offered their services to go into the communities and us players want to play as we see this as a way of giving back to the community and we owe it to them.”

This will be the first time since World War II that no top-flight rugby league will be played in Australia so if we are able to all-but guarantee the players safety and health, we shouldn’t hesitate in resuming the season as soon as possible.

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