'On the same page': Classy reason NRL clubs won't resume training

Australian Associated Press
·3-min read
Pictured here, the New Zealand Warriors are awaiting clearances to arrive and start training in Australia.
NRL clubs are waiting on clearances for the New Zealand Warriors before they'll resume training. Pic: Getty

NRL coaches remain committed to their decision not to begin a 'mini-preseason' until the Warriors are cleared to train as a group in Australia as the game nears crunch time.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys has flagged a decision on the competition structure early next week, and the NRL is confident of resolving the broadcast agreement and government clearances within the coming days.

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The Warriors are awaiting approval from the Australian and state governments as well as Border Force to be cleared to arrive in the country, needing an exemption to train as a group instead of a mandatory 14-day isolation for individuals.

Following strict biosecurity measures, an exemption would allow the Warriors to resume training in just seven days on May 4.

In a classy show of unity, NRL have vowed not to return to training until the Warriors are able to do so.

NRL Coaches Association boss Kelly Egan confirmed to AAP coaches remain united in the decision to hold off training until all 16 clubs could resume, so as to be fair to the Warriors.

"They certainly are (committed)," Egan said.

"There's been lots of conversation, we're all on the same page. Our competition needs the Warriors."

Queensland and Victoria are also awaiting approval from their respective governments to resume training and potentially fly in and out of NSW for games on chartered planes.

However, teams are preparing to base in NSW border towns should a decision not be reached next week.

On Sunday, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had received detailed plans from two major sporting codes to resume playing, although she refused to identify the governing bodies.

In a sign of hope for the NRL, the premier appeared open to the proposals.

"I have received two. They have been forwarded to the chief health officer to get their advice," she said.

"People are innovative and I'm quite sure people want to see sport resume.

"We need to make sure it is compliant with the health advice.

"National Cabinet is going to be considering key principles next Friday.

"There is a willingness here for everyone to make something happen."

It comes as the NRL enters an intense week of negotiations with decisions to be made to meet a mooted May 28 competition restart date.

Project Apollo is set to meet on Wednesday, with NRL coaches to meet straight afterwards.

However, the Apollo meeting could be rescheduled if an agreement on the competition structure is not finalised beforehand.

Competition details for NRL restart yet to be finalised

Everything from club grants, player wages and the arrival of the Warriors depends on the NRL finalising the structure of the competition with broadcasters Channel Nine and Foxtel this week.

Warriors CEO Cameron George said the players realise they will need to come to Australia next week for an indefinite period, with the families coming at a later date.

However, he wants assurances from the NRL on what the competition will look like before they board the plane.

"I've guaranteed the players, no one gets on the plane until we have the information on what the competition looks like and also to understand the risk versus rewards and that comes back to remuneration," he said on The Sunday Footy Show.

"Those discussions will clearly fall out of the back of any broadcast deal that will be done in the days coming up.

"Our players have been tremendous in making sure that they understand the importance of coming to Australia and doing the best for the game of rugby league to enable the NRL to maximise every chance we can this year to earn more commercial money for the future of the game."

With Yahoo Sport staff