Federal sports minister Richard Colbeck describes NRL’s proposed return date as ‘ambitious’


The NRL’s innovations committee, dubbed Project Apollo, wants the competition to resume next month despite strict state border controls.

The Warriors will also be required to travel to Australia and enter a 14-day quarantine period before resuming training.

‘I think it’s a bit ambitious to be frank.’

Richard Colbeck

Asked about the NRL’s return, Colbeck told ABC Radio: “I think it’s a bit ambitious to be frank.

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

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has already said she won’t provide the state’s NRL teams – Brisbane, North Queensland and the Gold Coast – travel exemptions to cross the border for matches in empty stadiums in NSW.

It has increased the likelihood of the NRL needing to relocate all its clubs to NSW in order for the competition to resume, paving the way for lengthy stints away from families.

Sports Minister Richard Colbeck.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg are set for crunch talks with broadcast rights holders Nine, the publisher of this masthead, and Foxtel this week.

They will debate the TV deals and format of the competition for the rest of the season.

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