The questions you need answered about the NRL and its return


Does the national cabinet need to give clearance for the NRL to return?
Technically no. While the NRL is keen for government to support the resumption of the competition, it does not necessarily need final approval from Canberra for its season to relaunch in NSW on May 28. It will seek clarification from national cabinet on a number of health and safety measures. What it does need though is Border Force’s green light for the Warriors to travel into Australia to ensure a full 16-team competition, which could arrive on Friday. It would allow the team to travel on Sunday so all clubs can return to training on Tuesday.

The NRL won’t blanket test players for COVID-19 but will regularly temperature check all players and staff.Credit:AAP

How did the NRL get dispensation from police orders about social gatherings – ie training?
The NRL received a letter from NSW police commissioner and state emergency operations controller Mick Fuller in early April providing an exemption for players to travel to training for the purpose of work.

Will the Warriors be permitted to skip hotel quarantine, unlike all other international travellers? Why?
It is yet to be confirmed, but the NRL is expecting the Warriors to be granted an exemption to spend their two weeks in quarantine together as a group at a facility in Tamworth. It will allow Stephen Kearney’s side to prepare for the resumption of the NRL season – and all other sides begin training – with no contact with the outside public. The decision will be clarified at a national cabinet meeting on Friday.

What will happen if a player tests positive to COVID-19?
The $64 million question. No one definitively knows how the NRL will react if a player returns a positive COVID-19 test, with the controversial approach to only be finalised after it finishes its biosecurity proposal. A draft version was sent to clubs last Sunday.

Is there going to be blanket testing of players and staff? When? How often?
The NRL has so far shied away from blanket COVID-19 testing of its players, but will temperature check all players and staff upon entry into training facilities each day and then conduct up to three tests each on gameday. Any players with flu-like symptoms or a cough will be told to stay away from training and matches and COVID-19 tests will be facilitated for those in need.

What will occur if a player breaches the biosecurity rules set by the NRL?
The players can expect to be handed harsh sanctions, including suspension from matches if they flout biosecurity proposals, according to Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V’landys. Four players – Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr, Tyronne Roberts-Davis and Nathan Cleary – have been fined for breaching public health orders in the past week.

What will occur if more players breach public health orders?
The players will be investigated by police and subject to NRL integrity unit investigations which put the competition’s status at risk.

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