Project Apollo one of several key meetings that will shape the game’s future

The NRL has reactivated its workload-balance committee to help implement the safety protocols that will be put forward at the latest meeting of the Project Apollo taskforce

The Australian Rugby League Commission met on Tuesday to discuss the medical and safety guidelines for the teams, clubs and players before a mooted May 28 restart. The fact more work needs to be done with the broadcasters on the competition structure, coupled with the departure of Todd Greenberg as NRL chief executive the previous day, resulted in two big-ticket items being removed from the agenda.

Instead, the focus was on the draft recommendations in a 50-page document around safety protocols to minimise the risk of coronavirus infection. Buried in the detail is a directive for players not to car-pool to venues, the banning of family members from training and steps to ensure players receive proper medical treatment if they succumb to injury. The NRL hopes the steps will demonstrate to government and health officials that the game is safe to resume.

A workload-balance committee is being set up to implement the policies. Kangaroos high-performance manager Troy Thompson, Storm football boss Frank Ponissi, Wests Tigers performance boss Andrew Gray, NRL welfare and education manager Paul Heptonstall and Rugby League Coaches Association CEO Kelly Egan are among the members of a new-look taskforce poised to meet for the first time since November. At least one current NRL head coach will also be part of the group that reports to the NRL’s head of football Graham Annesley and RLPA boss Clint Newton.


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