Player 'Tinder ban' among NRL's tough new virus protocols

The NRL are vowing to push ahead with their season, although tough new measures will be put into effect to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

One such measure that is set to be imposed on the players is a ban on dating sites, such as Tinder and Bumble.

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With players effectively in lockdown when they're not training or playing games, boredom looms as a major obstacle to maintaining safety protocols.

Channel Nine league reporter Danny Weidler said in his Sydney Morning Herald column that players have been told to ditch dating apps like Tinder, to avoid casual intimate contact.

Melbourne Storm star Cameron Munster threw a few of his teammates under the bus when discussing the difficulty some players might have under a 'Tinder ban'.

“It is interesting, we have some horny guys at our club,” Munster said on Fox Sports' Sunday Night With Matty Johns.

“Cooper Johns, Tui Kamikamica and some other boys in our team.

“It will be interesting to see how those boys go around talking to other people because they don’t really say too much.

“They are always on their phone, Gen Y. They will have to have some conversations with people now face-to-face.

"So it will be interesting to see how those guys go.”

Storm's Cameron Munster reckon some of his teammates might struggle under a 'Tinder ban'. Pic: Getty

The NRL is reportedly set to issue players with a list of banned activities imminently.

Failure to comply with these strict new regulations would see players slapped with significant fines or suspensions.

Several NRL clubs could also feel the pinch of the coronavirus pandemic as the NRL prepares to make one of the biggest calls in the game's history.

The ARL Commission (ARLC) is meeting on Monday to determine the best way forward for the sport through the health crisis, just a day after the AFL announced it was suspending its season.

NRL vows to push on with season

The NRL is determined to play on, and intend on continuing into round three next weekend unless they are told they cannot by government or health authorities.

“The AFL have got different circumstances. They’ve got teams throughout Australia where as we’ve only got them in three states. We can continue on without too much drama," ARLC chairman Peter V'landys said.

One option that seems to be edging closer to reality by the day is to move and house all NRL teams up to North Queensland, and continuing the competition from there.

“Relocation is definitely an option and we are looking at that right at the moment," V'landys added.

“Gladstone is the one place we could go to but there are some logistic problems to overcome before we go through with it. But certainly relocating the players is on the table.

“The experts are saying we can go on at the moment, but things can change at any time.”

ARLC chairman Peter V'landys is confident the NRL season can continue. Pic: Getty

League chiefs acknowledge they stare down the barrel of a huge loss worth up to $500 million if the season is scrapped, or around $13 million per round lost in TV rights.

But more than half the clubs are now facing a challenge of their own following new government measures shutting clubs and pubs on Sunday night.

Nine NRL clubs are either owned by or have links to leagues clubs, and some rely on them for financial security most years.

That figure does not include Cronulla, whose leagues club is currently closed for two years for upgrades.

Clubs are already doing it tough throughout the crisis, with no gate receipts and an expected flow-on effect to membership and merchandise sales.

The NRL has already handed each club $425,000 in support, but it's anticipated further strain could be placed on sides - particularly if matches are lost.

‘Our No.1 priority is to protect our players’

The NRL has not had a game abandoned or skipped since the Super League war, and chairman Peter V'landys as well as chief executive Todd Greenberg are desperate to avoid the situation.

"At this stage, our intent is to play on and we remain committed to the continuation of the 2020 season as far as government advice allows it," Greenberg said.

"We have, and always will, stringently follow all government health advice and medical protocols to protect the health and safety of the community and our players.

"Our No.1 priority is to protect our players, staff and fans and we will continue to do this by adopting the strictest possible medical protocols.

"However, we understand the pace of the crisis is escalating rapidly and we need to remain flexible and conscious of community expectations."

The NRL could consider playing until as late as December 20 to ensure all matches are played.

With AAP