NRL ask all players to self-isolate

Matt Encarnacion and Pamela Whaley
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NRL SEA EAGLES STORM

Manly's Addin Fonua-Blake said he is taking precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."