NRL players told to avoid fan handshakes

Scott Bailey

NRL players have been told to avoid shaking hands with fans in a bid to control the coronavirus outbreak as part of a document sent to all clubs.

League officials briefed all 16 club bosses on Thursday afternoon on the virus, just hours before the season kickoff between Parramatta and Canterbury.

However an email sent to club officials on Thursday morning outlined a number of recommended measurements.

Those include not taking selfies with fans after matches and avoiding taking pens from fans to sign autographs.

Clubs have been told to take reasonable steps to limit player contact with community organisations such as hospitals and schools.

Post-match access to dressing sheds will also be limited, as the league desperately tries to stay on top of the situation.

The document went out moments before the NBA made the decision to suspend its league after a player tested positive to the virus.

A number of sporting matches around the world have also been played behind closed doors.

Thursday's update included no such details on when those measures could or would be implemented.

At this stage the NRL is following government directives, and maintaining contact with health authorities.

Clubs have also been told to take reasonable steps to limit player contact with community organisations such as hospitals and schools.

Around the league some teams have already begun their own measures.

The Sydney Roosters revealed earlier this week players had stopped shaking hands, instead preferring the fist bump on account of the club's doctors.

Melbourne confirmed on Thursday that some of their staff are working from home.

Warriors players have also been given individual medical packs with antibacterial sprays and gels by their club, with no new coronavirus cases in New Zealand this week.