The Australian Rugby League (ARL) Commission have confirmed the NRL is aiming to resume on May 28.
The competition has been suspended for over two weeks now due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic but will now look to return next month, following a meeting between the NRL’s innovations committee, the ARL Commission and representatives from each of the 16 NRL clubs.
The NRL have also confirmed their intention to play a full three-game State of Origin series and reiterated that the Grand Final will remain as one match and be played in Sydney.
ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce, who is heading up the innovations committee, said: “I’m pleased to announce we’re planning a competition start on May 28.
“The details on the competition structure we haven’t got yet because the landscape is changing around government boundaries. That will feed into the complexity structure. Today what we landed on was a starting date.
“We haven’t finalised what that [competition] looks like yet. Why we want to firm up a date is to give certainty to players and their schedules, clubs and thousands of people who are out of work through clubs and millions of fans.
“It’s a mark for everyone to work towards that’s associated with the game.”
ARL chairman Peter V’landys added: “There is clear evidence the curve is flattening. The NSW Government has done a great job in reducing the infection rate from 22.27% when we suspended the competition to 1.43% today.
“The situation is changing dramatically and we need to get moving. It is in the best interests of our clubs, our players, our stakeholders and importantly our fans that the competition resumes as quickly and as safely as possible.
“We have said right from the start that what we say today may need to change tomorrow. We will be flexible, and if the trend changes or if government restrictions change then so will we. The health and safety of our players and the general public remains the absolute priority.”