Midweek games, all non-essential staff given holidays, EVERY player tested and some teams blocked from playing: Inside the NRL’s plan to keep the season going as coronavirus rampages through Australia
- NRL is bringing in measures to minimise impact of COVID-19 on the competition
- League will pay to test every player and stop games if they find a confirmed case
- Some clubs are already ordering non-essential staff to take annual leave
- Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
The NRL has outlined its plan to keep the competition afloat as the country grapples with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Clubs across the NRL will be issued with test kits next week as NRL bosses demand every player in the competition be tested for coronavirus.
NRL chiefs Peter V’landys and Todd Greenberg met NSW health minister Brad Hazzard earlier this week who advised the NRL hire an independent pathologist to test their results faster than normal.
Clubs across the NRL will be issued with test kits next week as NRL bosses demand every player in the competition be tested for coronavirus (pictured is former Melbourne Storm and Sydney Roosters player Cooper Cronk)
The NRL is forking out the bill for the expedited testing reasoning that they need to stop games before a potentially infected player runs onto the field, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
There is yet to be a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the NRL though it is not known how many players have been tested.
V’landys has said that shutting down the NRL would be ‘catastrophic’ because the NRL only has three months of cash reserves to work with.
He said any team with a confirmed case of coronavirus could be stopped from playing and mid-week games could be an option to catch up on cancelled matches.
Some clubs are already going out on their own implementing measures aimed to minimise the spread of COVID-19.
Penrith have ordered all non-essential staff to take annual or long-service leave and other clubs are likely to follow suit.
The Australian Rugby League Commission is holding a meeting on Thursday afternoon to discuss its plan for the 2020 season.
The NRL has no confirmed cases of coronavirus but will test all players (pictured is South Sydney Rabbitohs player Latrell Mitchell and family)