'Significant restrictions': Training banned as NRL players face lockdown

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith is pictured during a training session.
Club training sessions have effectively been banned by the NRL, with the league imposing strict lockdown rules on players. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

The NRL has imposed strict lockdown rules on players following the code’s shutdown due to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Clubs and players were presented with a six-page document outlining the requirements for self-isolation and lockdown, which players must adhere to from Sunday.

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Fines could be imposed on clubs if any player breaches the strict conditions, which forbid them from even passing a ball to a teammate.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, players have been asked to refrain from any physical contact except for the people they live with - which means to handshakes, high-fives or any other contact with fans in public.

The players have also been barred from group training or physiotherapy, which now requires league approval to go ahead.

Attending NRL club premises is also off the table, except with the authorisation of each club’s CEO or club medical officer.

Training activities such as wrestling and boxing are out, as well as passing drills between teammates.

Club gyms, outdoor gyms, pools and yoga classes have also been ruled out.

The league memo reminded players that all training should be done solo.

“We understand the protocols mean there is going to be some significant restrictions on you, but they are absolutely necessary to protect your health and safety, and that of your family and friends,” the memorandum to all NRL players reads.

“Any training or rehabilitation programs, coaching sessions or other similar activities must be provided remotely.

“Your club may provide you with ballwork drills but none that requires training with a partner or a group. Remember, all training must be conducted on your own.”

Pay negotiations between NRL, players to continue

Pay negotiations between the NRL and its players will linger into next week after the two parties failed to reach an agreement on Friday.

Already presented with a model for an 87 per cent drop in coming months due to the coronavirus suspension, the players' union spoke with the NRL and clubs again on Friday.

But while all parties had been hoping to reach a deal by the end of this week and talks were productive, it became clear that would not be possible.

"We've had constructive dialogue with both Peter V'landys and Todd Greenberg again today," Rugby League Players' Association CEO Clint Newton said on Friday.

"We will continue to work through the process with players, agents, clubs and the NRL.

"The consultation with the playing group remains paramount to any agreement that would be reached.”

With AAP