Storm’s Brandon Smith bound for Australia as NRL move to resume play


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Melbourne football general manager Frank Ponissi said they were still working toward the NRL plan to resume team training on May 1. He said that the club was sorting through different logistical scenarios if they were unable to do so in Melbourne due to Victoria’s tighter coronavirus regulations. He said they were considering a move to border town Albury and also looking at a number of facilities in and around Sydney.

“Our first preference is to train at home but if restrictions aren’t changed we are looking to relocate to NSW,” Ponissi told SEN radio.

“The border gives opportunities to players to come home on a frequent basis and if that’s not possible then ones in Sydney in a safe environment with all the training facilities required.”

While the NRL competition resumption date of May 28 has been heavily criticised by some, Ponissi said clubs were aware it was more of a marker than a certainty. He said it gave clubs and players, who can ramp up training intensity, a date to work towards.

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“There’s a massive amount of planning … it won’t just be like flicking a switch and going back to your normal routine,” he said.

“There will be restrictions when you do start training whether it’s May 1, June 1 or July 1 so we have to prepare for that.

“And then when the competition restarts it won’t be the normal competition, whether it’s hubs as has been talked about in the AFL or travelling the day of the game

“There’s a lot of planning involved so while we might not start on that May 28 date at least we can start planning.”



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