NRL season suspended indefinitely as the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic

Tim Gavel 23 March 2020
Todd Greenberg

“Today is a difficult day for the rugby league community and at head office,” NRL CEO Todd Greenberg. Photo: Supplied.

With sport effectively curtailed around the world in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the NRL and the A-League remained the last sports standing, not just in Australia, but also globally.

This followed the decision by the AFL to suspend their season until the end of May.

The NRL had been pressing ahead with plans for Thursday night’s start to the third round with the Raiders at home to St George-Illawarra. So advanced was the preparation that the NRL had contacted media companies on Monday afternoon to determine which representatives would be attending the game under the strict new guidelines.

The NRL played behind closed doors in the first two rounds and in an effort to keep the television revenue flowing, appeared determined to keep the competition alive.

But following advice from medical officials on Monday afternoon it became clear, with the health of players in mind and the decision of the Queensland Government to close the borders, it was impossible for the NRL to continue.

A series of telephone hookups followed before the NRL hierarchy announced that the season was being suspended indefinitely, effective immediately.

The decision will have enormous ramifications with dire predictions about the financial position of the NRL prior to the announcement that the season would be suspended.

Many involved in the game, now face an uncertain future with the likelihood of significant cost-cutting.

View full announcement here.

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