“The protocols cannot be periodic if we are to achieve our objective. It cannot be subject to change because of personal events such as birthdays, anniversaries or occasions such as Mother’s Day.
“A black or white decision is required in this instance to ensure no confusion amongst players and officials, the government and the media.
“It’s unfortunate but ultimately no different to what all families faced recently over Easter. Any communication in relation to Mother’s Day is to occur via telephone or video conferencing.”
The Mother’s Day edict isn’t the only change that will affect how footballers will be spending their weekend. Almost all clubs had scheduled a training day for Saturday, which was earmarked as the first opportunity for full-contact sessions with no restrictions on playing numbers.
Several coaches had planned to run opposed 13-a-side sessions, but will now have to wait until Monday after the NRL announced no such sessions were permissible until Monday.
“The national principles for the resumption of sport and recreation activities requires a graded return to training activities,” the NRL wrote in its communique to clubs.
“These principles are incorporated in the final protocol. Teams commenced Level B activities yesterday.
“After further advice from our medical experts, Level C activities must not commence any earlier than Monday 11th May.”
The delay will result in another rejig of training schedules for coaches, who saw their players face to face for the first time on Monday when they arrived to be briefed on the biosecurity protocols. Players weren’t allowed to train on Tuesday, leaving clubs to run contactless, small-group sessions from Wednesday onwards.
The Roosters, Sea Eagles, Panthers, Raiders, Storm and Eels were among the teams that had planned to train on Saturday due to the lifting of contact restrictions.
Adrian Proszenko is the Chief Rugby League Reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald.