NRL Season To Reopen On May 23, Queensland Premier OKs Training Resumption

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NRL Rugby
The NRL Indigenous logo is displayed on the field with the Roosters Holden Cup players prior to the round 10 NRL match between the Sydney Roosters and the Parramatta Eels at Allianz Stadium on May 14, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. Jason McCawley/Getty Images

Queensland has given the green light for the National Rugby League (NRL) to resume its 2020 season. This follows the league’s suspension of games in March over the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk cleared the way for the NRL to recommence. In a telephone conference with NRL Chairman Peter V’Landys, the premier said training may already resume for teams as they eye a May 28 reopening of the rugby season.

Also present during the call were CEOs of Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and the Gold Coast Titans.

“I said I was as keen as anyone else to see the NRL return and I meant it,” Palaszczuk said in a statement.

“The only condition was that it did not put our excellent work containing the spread of COVID-19 at risk and the chief health officer advises that the NRL plan is workable.”

The decision now allows players to travel across Queensland borders for matches, considering them essential workers.

“First round games will be played in Queensland and of course I put in a bid for a local grand final and we all look forward to hosting the State of Origin,” Palaszczuk added.

This decision follows more than a two-month suspension of the Telstra Premiership, starting Match 23. The move was forced by the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the country at the time. The country has seen successfully slowed down the spread of the virus.

“Our pandemic expert and our biosecurity expert has said due to the rapid rate of infection, that we can no longer guarantee the safety of our players to continue to play,” V’Landys previously said in a statement.

“That is the paramount consideration in all our decision making is the safety and health of our players. Accordingly, we are suspending the season.”

The premier, however, clarified that the NRL and its teams must still follow strict home-quarantine measures.

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