NRL players to be removed from families under radical lockdown proposal

NRL players have been instructed to self-isolate in their latest bid to ward off the coronavirus pandemic and continue the premiership season.

The development comes after a crucial meeting between the league's top figures, NSW health minister Hugh Hazzard and chief medical officer Dr Kerry Chant.

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During the meeting at the League HQ the governing body was given the green light to push on with their season in the midst of the outbreak crisis.

Club bosses then convened on Tuesday afternoon and were briefed on a new raft of measures to further limit exposure the disease.

Players could be moved away from their families under a new lockdown to combat coronavirus. Pic: Getty

Among the radical protocols include avoiding going out to public places such as clubs, pubs, restaurants and cafes.

There have also been suggestions that clubs could lock their players down by providing them accommodation at their training base or serviced apartments.

Channel Nine's chief rugby league reporter Danny Weidler says some clubs are already taking similar precautions to minimise the risk of players contracting coronavirus.

"There's been a series of rolling meetings today at the NRL," Weidler told Nine News.

"The club CEO's are just being told right now that the NRL want a player lockdown. That means the players can play, train and go home to their families. It's kind of a self-quarantine, self-isolation in order to protect the competition.

"South Sydney have already been doing that. They've been telling their players not to go to restaurants, not to go to cafés – straight from training to home. That will be recommended across all clubs."

St-George Illawarra Dragons forward James Graham told Fox Sports' NRL 360 on Tuesday night that he'd be willing to take drastic steps to keep the competition going.

"If that's what we have to do then that's what we have to do," Graham said.

"Look at army personnel, they don't get their families come and see them when they're in Iraq and places like that.

"We keep saying, if we get the opportunity to keep playing then everything has to be on the table," he added.

Wests Tigers veteran Benji Marshall agreed, insisting rugby league was in a much more fortunate position that many other industries in Australia and around the world.

"Look at small businesses, they don't have the chance that we (rugby league players) have, we're lucky," Marshall said.

Some players have even opted to take their health into their own hands with Manly star Addin Fonua-Blake fronting media on Tuesday wearing a face mask.

Players taking extra precautions at training

Fonua-Blake and a handful of Sea Eagles players trained while wearing face masks as an added precaution.

"I thought I'd wear it. There's a lot going on in the world so I'm taking a precautionary step," Fonua-Blake said.

"I'm not scared by the whole thing. I just don't want to take anything home as I've got four young kids of my own and a partner.

"I know the mask doesn't fully stop the coronavirus but if someone accidentally coughs on me I'd rather have this on."

South Sydney and Parramatta also completed their media duties via video link.

The NRL also stepped up its protocols by chartering flights for teams that are travelling interstate over the weekend.

The Rabbitohs will fly to Brisbane on Friday and will fly home the same night, while Canberra will do the same against the Warriors on the Gold Coast.

Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves said while he also has concerns about his young family, the season must go ahead - not just for financial reasons.

"For some people, for most people, footy needs to continue," he said, before adding he was also inspired to press on for his dad.

"I spoke to him (Monday) and he also said how much he loves watching every game, he sits there and analyses each game.

"And to hear my dad say that footy needs to go on, he's obviously speaking from a father's point of view but I know where he's coming from, for sure."

With Yahoo Sport Staff