'A great outcome': NRL makes 'landmark' announcement

The NRL has on Tuesday provided concrete details about how the remainder of its season will look. Pic: Getty
The NRL has on Tuesday provided concrete details about how the remainder of its season will look. Pic: Getty

The NRL has announced a 20-round restructure of this year's competition after finalising negotiations with broadcasters on Tuesday.

The move will come as a relief for league fans after it was feared the coronavirus breaches from several top players could derail the NRL’s plans to resume the season next month.

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However, Tuesday’s announcement provided details of a rejigged draw that includes the two rounds already completed, meaning an additional 18 will be played should the season return as planned on May 28.

A breakdown of those 18 rounds has yet to be provided.

The grand final is scheduled for October 25, with the lucrative State of Origin series to be held in the weeks following.

Where the grand final will be staged is also unclear, with Australia scheduled to play its first pool match in the T20 World Cup at the SCG on the Saturday before the decider.

With ANZ Stadium due to begin its reconstruction in June, the smaller Bankwest Stadium could be an option for league officials.

The NRL's innovation committee will look to put the finishing touches on the new-look season when it meets on Wednesday.

All competition points earned before the season was suspended by the coronavirus remain.

The development comes after over a week of high-powered talks with Nine Network boss Hugh Marks and Foxtel counterpart Patrick Delany.

"Today is a landmark day for rugby league in 2020," ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys said on Tuesday evening.

"This is a great outcome for our players, fans, partners and stakeholders."

It is unclear how much revenue the new schedule will generate.

The remuneration details are critical in the Warriors agreeing to fly from New Zealand to Australia for an indefinite period due to travel restrictions.

NZ Warriors expected to arrive into Australia on Sunday

The league is hoping the Warriors will arrive in the country on Sunday and self-quarantine for two weeks in Tamworth in northern NSW.

The club has yet to officially receive exemption to enter Australia, or been given permission to train while in isolation.

All 16 clubs have been told to prepare for a return to squad training on Monday, giving teams three weeks to train before the season resumes.

"It's safer now to play then it was in round two when we were playing," V'landys said.

"The daily infection rate in NSW was 25.79 per cent when the last game was played. It has been now less than 1 per cent in NSW for the last 18 days and is continuing to drop.

"There has also been a significant improvement in the recovery rate, being 75 per cent in NSW and 83 per cent in Australia.

"Our players will be safer under our protocols than they would be as regular members of the community."

with Yahoo Sport staff