PRLMO & ARLC reach deal, NRL integrity update - NRL COVID-19 updates
Stay across the latest information for Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impacts on rugby league in Australia and Europe.
We'll keep this page updated as news comes to hand.
Friday 22 May 2020
- At 7:30pm the ARLC and PRLMO agreed to trial one referee for the season following ongoing discussions. PRLMO statement here - LINK
- NRL Integrity Unit update - breach notices issued to Cody Walker & the Rabbitohs, with determintations on three players involved in COVID-19 breaches in April - LINK
- The PRLMO has released a detailed statement indicating they will not prevent the NRL from restarting next Thursday. LINK
- In a message to fans over night, Super League chief Robert Elstone has indicated the UK competition is working toward an August restart, with the potential for a January Grand Final. LINK
Thursday 21 May 2020
- Two big pieces of player movement news today:
- Andrew McCullough leaves Brisbane for Newcastle - LINK
- Jack Murchie leaves Canberra for the Warriors - LINK
- The Sydney Morning Herald revealed the remainder of the 2020 NRL Draw. Check it out HERE.
Wednesday 20 May 2020
- The mediation between PRLMO and the NRL over the one-referee edict and lack of consultation failed to produce a resolution on Tuesday - the parties will be headed for legal proceedings tomorrow (Thursday).
Tuesday 19 May 2020
- The ARLC has confirmed the six venues to be used for the NRL over the next seven rounds (LINK):
- Suncorp Stadium - to be used for the Broncos and Titans
- Queensland Country Bank Stadium - Cowboys
- AAMI Park - Storm
- Central Coast Stadium - Knights, Warriors and Sea Eagles
- Campbelltown Stadium - Wests Tigers, Panthers, Dragons, Raiders
- Bankwest Stadium - Eels, Bulldogs, Rabbitohs, Sharks, Roosters
Saturday 16 May 2020
- A Fox Sports report suggests the NRL have settled on three initial venues for NSW games when the competition restarts:
- Central Coast Stadium, Gosford: Knights, Warriors, Sea Eagles
- Campbelltown Stadium, Leumeah: Wests Tigers, Raiders, Sharks, Storm & Dragons
- Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta: Eels, Panthers, Bulldogs, Roosters & Rabbitohs
- Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane is expected to host games involving Queensland clubs in the short term.
Friday 15 May 2020
- Rounds 3 and 4 have been revealed. Check them out - LINK
- News Limited mastheads are reporting the dates of the State of Origin series are locked in, with consecutive Wednesdays in November set to host the rescheduled three matches on November 4, 11 and 18. LINK
- In the UK, Super League are continuing to work toward a possible season restart as the government there looks to ease restrictions. LINK
Thursday 14 May 2020
- The PRLMO has lodged a formal complaint with the Fair Work Commission based on the one-referee decision. Read their full statement HERE.
- The Telegraph reports the draw for Rounds 3 and 4 will be released tomorrow, with the rest to come next week. Monday night football will NOT return. LINK
Wednesday 13 May 2020
- One ref is locked in after today's ARLC committee meeting. See the full NRL Media Release here.
- Nathan Cleary has copped a $1000 fine from NSW Police after the investigation into his COVID-19 breach was reopened.
Tuesday 12 May 2020
Sunday 10 May 2020
- Plenty out of the papers this morning. Overnight reports from News Corp indicate the NRL is on the verge of completing a new broadcast deal to extend the contracts of Fox Sports and Channel 9 through to 2027. The revised deal would ensure a greater payday for the league. LINK
- A separate story from the same journalist and paper indicates the ABC's Four Corners program will 'probe the NRL's financial woes. LINK
- The Professional Rugby League Match Officials Inc (PRLMO) has issued a statement outlining their disappointment with a lack of consultation around the proposed return to one referee for the remainder of the 2020 NRL season. LINK
- After their two-week lockdown in Tamworth, it's looking likely the Warriors will relocate to Gosford, using Central Coast Stadium as their training base. LINK
- As the furore surrounding flu shots and anti-vaccination continues, NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard has labelled anti-vax campaigners "just plain stupid and dangerous". After a pair of Titans players were stood down on Friday, players at other clubs including Dylan Walker, Addin Fonua-Blake (Sea Eagles), Josh Papalii, Joe Tapine & Sia Soliola (Raiders) and Sione Katoa (Bulldogs) have come out in protest of mandatory vaccinations for NRL players. LINK
- A revised draw is now expected by the end of this week, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald late yesterday. LINK
Friday 8 May 2020
- Gold Coast have confirmed two players - Bryce Cartwright and Brian Kelly - have been stood down among the unfolded controversy around the flu shot and players refusal. Full statement
- NRL.com reports the ARLC are considering reverting to one referee in premiership matches for the first time in more than 12 seasons. LINK
Tuesday 5 May 2020
- Albury City Council have vetoed the Melbourne Storm's plans to relocate to the town, the council voting 5-4 in favour of the motion to ban the club from using council grounds. Thankfully it looks like the Albury Tigers FNC (an Australian Rules and Netball club) will save the day.
- The May 28 resumption got another boost today with the NRL and RLPA agreeing to a play deal for the players which will see them receive 80% of their 2020 contracted payments. Teams will resume training tomorrow officially - in compliance with the National Principles for the Resumption of Sport and Recreation Activities Guidelines. LINK
Monday 4 May 2020
- In an interview on his club's website, Raiders boss Don Furner - a member of the Project Apollo committee - suggested a revised draw for the remaining 18 rounds could be finalised as early as this Friday. LINK
- Today's briefing and education day has been completed with tomorrow to be a further education day ahead of training resuming on Wednesday. The NRL has provided each club with a dedicated COVID-19 liaision officer. LINK
- After today's Project Apollo biosecurity briefing, the Storm have confirmed that after an earlier request to remain based at AAMI Park for training was denied, they will now set up camp in Albury, just on the other side of the Victorian border. LINK
Sunday 3 May 2020
- The Warriors have arrived in Tamworth and will now enter a 14-day quarantine.
Saturday 2 May 2020
- WARRIORS EXEMPTION GRANTED: After much back-and-forward from media reports in the last 48 hours, we can confirm that Australian Border Force has granted the Warriors the needed exemption to land at Tamworth this weekend. Peter Dutton's statement: LINK; NRL statement: LINK; Warriors' statement: LINK
Friday 1 May 2020
- Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has given her government's approval for the NRL's May 28 restart. Full statement: LINK
- After much conjecture, players will return on Monday for a biosecurity education day before training resumes Tuesday. LINK
- The Warriors have been granted the required exemption to enter Australia and will fly into Tamworth this weekend. LINK
- The UK Government has granted a 16 million pound cash injection to the RFL to keep the sport's governing body afloat in the United Kingdom.
Super League Europe's statement: LINK; The RFL statement: LINK
Thursday 30 April 2020
- The NRL and RLPA are deep in discussions with revelations over the last 24 hours the playing group aren't happy with the lack of details available, including their pay arrangements, for the abridged season. LINK
- Nathan Cleary is back under the microscope of the NRL Integrity Unit after further social media content emerged showing him breaking restricitons with guests at his home. He's been cleared by police.
Tuesday 28 April 2020
- 20-round competition confirmed. The NRL will release the fixtures in the next two weeks. The Grand Final will be held on October 25. LINK
- An overnight report in the Sydney Morning Herald indicates the Warriors are very close to obtaining their necessary exemption to be able to travel to Australia on the weekend. LINK
- Penrith half Nathan Cleary is the latest player caught in controversy over social distancing restrictions, with photos emerging of groups of women at his home over the weekend. LINK
- The NRL has doled out sanctions to four players - Cleary, Addo-Carr, Mitchell and Knights player Tyronne Roberts-Davis - following their actions over the weekend. LINK
Monday 27 April 2020
- The NRL and RLPA have issued statements marking disappointment, following revelations representative backs Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell were camping with friends over the weekend, in a social media post made by Addo-Carr. LINK
- Queensland Premier Anastascia Palaczuuk will meet with the NRL this week to work through their plan to return to the field on May 28. LINK
- Addo-Carr and Mitchell have received penalty infringement notices from NSW Police as investigations into their activities on the weekend are ongoing. LINK
Sunday 26 April 2020
- Doubts remain over the prospects of the Warriors rejoining the NRL competition next month, with club CEO Cameron George telling The Sunday Footy Show (Ch 9) that they want to know the full details before making the trip. The team will need to isolate for 14 days before returning to training a week ahead of the May 28 kickoff.
- The NRL has pledged its support for the Australian Government's COVIDSafe contact tracing app. LINK
Saturday 25 April 2020
- Reports from multiple outlets suggest the 2020 State of Origin series will be held in the post-season, with the first match to kick off ten days after the NRL Grand Final. The three games would then be played on consecutive Wednesdays.
Friday 24 April 2020
- The ARLC is pressing ahead with plans to restart the competition in May after a meeting with broadcasters today. Details around the season structure remain to be seen.
Wednesday 22 April 2020
- ARLC commissioner Wayne Pearce confirmed late on Wednesday the NRL would 'definitely' restart on May 28 as planned. (LINK) Also confirmed:
- Clubs could resume training on May 4
- The premiership ladder will NOT be reset, and remains as it was at the conclusion of Round 2
- The competition structure is yet to be finalised
- Details on the Warriors' arrangements are still to be finalised.
- Todd Greenberg's seat is still warm less than two days after his departure, but that hasn't stopped Peter V'landys reportedly being on the precipice of extending the current broadcast deal with Nine and Fox for a further three years - locking the game into receiving less broadcast revenue than under the current deal until 2025. LINK
- The NSWRL are aiming at a July return for grassroots footy as well as the Ron Massey Cup, Sydney Shield and Harvey Norman Women's Premiership. Previously cancelled comps including the Canterbury Cup will have no premier or player of the year awards. LINK
- In the UK, Super League have confirmed they're postponing the annual Magic Weekend, which was scheduled for May 23-24 at St. James' Park, Newcastle. It is still intended the round proceed later in the year once there is clarity around fixtures. LINK
Monday 20 April 2020
- Following a report on supposed "missing money" from club payments in this morning's Nine newspapers, NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has sensationally stood down from his role. Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Abdo takes over as Acting CEO. LINK
Saturday 18 April 2020
- The Gold Coast Titans confirm the release of English centre Kallum Watkins on compassionate grounds. LINK
- The rugby league world is in mourning today following the tragic death of Wynnum Manly Seagulls captain Mitch Cronin, who died after a reported training mishap at home on Friday. Wynnum Manly statement
- ARLC Chair Peter V'landys insisted his meeting with broadcast partners on Friday went well, telling NRL.com "it was an extremely constructive meeting".
- NSW Origin coach Brad Fittler told Triple M he wants a fan ballot to ensure there is a fan presence inside stadiums when the 2020 Origin series is played.
Friday 17 April 2020
- Today's 'Project Apollo' meeting that was set to discuss the May 28 restart has been pushed back to next Wednesday, with an ARLC meeting scheduled for next Tuesday. The key issue at this time surrounds how the Warriors are managed, given they will be required to isolate for a fortnight when they get to Australia - and likely will need to stay here indefinitely to finish the competition.
- Kevin Walters told Fox League this week he would 'not stand in the way' if all three Origin matches had to be played in Sydney due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Wednesday 15 April 2020
- Wests Tigers today confirmed the cancellation of their annual Tamworth fixture. LINK
- Yesterday's meeting between ARLC Chair Peter V'landys and Nine boss Hugh Marks is reported to have went well, however several outlets report the broadcaster's preference was to scrap plans to continue the 2020 season and start fresh in 2021, with a renegotiated broadcast deal in place. SMH report
- The Australian's John Stensholt & Brent Read are reporting the ARLC has secured a $250m loan from British investment firm Oakwell to help keep the game's finances afloat during the pandemic shutdown.
- Responding to criticism from various political figures about the game's intended restart date, V'landys reiterated that the restart is still more than six weeks away and part of the reason approvals aren't granted yet is they want governments to have a couple of weeks to assess infection rates.
- Broncos' fullback Darius Boyd says he won't relocate to Sydney to help restart the competition, baulking at the idea of spending up to four months away from his family.
Tuesday 14 April 2020
- It's been a complex weekend in the Coronavirus v NRL space:
- Conflicting reports after Thursday's announcement over whether the NRL did in fact have support from the Health Minister - ultimately it was confirmed the ARLC had been in correspondence with the minister's office;
- NSW Premier Gladys Berejikilian indicated she had not "green-lighted" the league's return to play, although it wasn't on a specific closure list. She suggested the league would need to ensure it could return safely;
- QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk indicated that her state was unlikely to lift border restrictions and subsequent quarantining requirements to allow the NRL to proceed;
- NSW Commissioner of Police Mick Fuller said on Monday he would be willing to work with NSW Health to ensure it would be possible to base all 16 NRL clubs in the state if needed in order to restart the premiership as planned on May 28;
- Scott Morrison weighed in this morning in an interview on the Today Show, telling Nine that the May 28 restart date was 'ambitious';
- Reports that Roosters' boss Nick Politis wanted the competition ladder reset were dismissed by the NRL.
- The media spat continues between the Nine and News Ltd camps following from Nine's broadside at the NRL last Thursday. The statement from the network was followed by an impassioned defence of Nine in it's papers by Phil Gould on Sunday, which was then slammed by long-time rival Phil Rothfield in the Daily Telegraph on Monday.
Thursday 9 April 2020
- The ARLC has confirmed they will aim to restart the 2020 premiership on May 28
- Details on the competition structure are still to be announced.
- The aim is to give certainty to players, clubs and fans
- The landscape could change in the seven weeks leading up to it.
- The competition structure will not involve the conference idea at this time.
- NSW government has been supportive on a range of provisos.
- Read the NRL.com story here.
Monday 6 April 2020
Thursday 2 April 2020
- The NRL and RLPA have finally reached an agreement on player payments this season. It means the playing group will miss out on 5 months of wages should the competition not restart in 2020. LINK
Monday 30 March 2020
- The NRLW season is now in peril, with the Roosters declaring they won't be involved if it proceeds later this year. SMH report - LINK
Friday 27 March 2020
- The NSWRL have decided to cancel nine of their 13 competitions - Canterbury Cup, Jersey Flegg Cup (U20), UNE SG Ball Cup (U18), Laurie Daley Cup (Under 18s), Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup (Under 18s women), UNE Harold Matthews Cup (Under 16s), Andrew Johns Cup (Under 16s), Women's Country Championships and Men's Under 23s Country Championships. LINK
- The QRL have made a similar decision, with all four of their major competitions cancelled for 2020: Intrust Super Cup (Men's), BHP Premiership (Women's), Hastings Deering Colts (Men's U20), Auswide Bank Mal Meninga Cup (Boys U18). LINK
- The NRL today announced the cancellation of May's Magic Round in Brisbane. LINK
Wednesday 25 March 2020
- The NRL and RLPA issued a joint statement regarding their ongoing collaboration around player payment decreases resulting from the COVID-19 shutdown. LINK
- The Western Suburbs Magpies club, who still have teams in Canterbury Cup and Ron Massey Cup along with Junior Reps, have announced a temporary shutdown of the club. LINK
Tuesday 24 March 2020
- It's the morning after the night before. Lots to digest, most of all that there's no footy for a while. Here's our message to fans.
- Check out the responses from around the clubs, with 11 clubs releasing statements directly addressing the shutdown: LINK
- NRL club CEOs were told this morning the competition has to restart by September in order to be able to be completed. There could be as few as 15 matches under such a model, with a December Grand Final. The earliest possible date for resumption would be June 1. LINK
- The NRL has put out an FAQ on what the shut down means for everyone. We've republished that here.
- The RFL and Super League confirmed their seasons - initially suspended til early April - are now suspended indefinitely. LINK
Monday 23 March 2020
- Here's the official media release from the NRL - LINK
- It's OFFICIAL - the NRL has been suspended. The main points:
- Health and safety was the top priority - the NRL's biosecurity and pandemic experts told the league it was no longer possible to ensure player health and safety.
- No determined return date - it's being left open as to when the league resumes.
- All clubs and players have been briefed and asked not to train from tomorrow.
- NRL HQ is shut as reported earlier today, with staff asked to take leave til 1 May.
- The decision means the Warriors can return home tomorrow before border closures are enforced.
- V'landys reiterated from his previous press conference that this is a catastrophic time financially for the NRL and its clubs.
- Greenberg outlined they are still confident of getting the season played out.
- Live feed of that press conference is right here - LINK
- We're standing by for a 6:10pm AEDT press conference, expected to confirm the news.
- News Limited joining the party on this one, with Fox Sports and the state mastheads all providing the same report - NRL will be suspended. LINK
- Channel 9's Cam Williams says the NRL will shut down. LINK
- Fox Sports' James Hooper reporting on a potential 'two-conference system' that could keep the NRL afloat. LINK
- Reports today that NRL HQ will have to close and the competition to run with just skeleton staff.
- V'landys has confirmed the NRL is seriously considering a whole-competition relocation to Gladstone in Central QLD to ensure the premiership can continue. LINK
Sunday 22 March 2020
- In spite of the AFL's decision to stop, the NRL has indicated they plan to play on. ARLC chair Peter V'landys said "it was the Commission's intention to proceed with the competition until there is advice from government to shut down matches. LINK
- On the back of these announcements, the AFL confirmed it would stop its competition at the conclusion of Round 1.
- This morning the Morrison Government confirmed further advice regarding non-essential travel, prompting state governments across the country to go further and close borders within 48H.
Friday 20 March 2020
- The APRLC has confirmed the mid-season Oceania Cup test matches have been cancelled. It was planned that NZ would play Tonga and Samoa would host Cook Islands. LINK
- This morning the Warriors confirmed they are committed to staying in Australia as long as is needed to continue the NRL competition. LINK
- Earlier in the week, the club withdrew its side from the NSWRL Canterbury Cup should the competition resume later in the year. LINK
Thursday 19 March 2020
- The NRL has announced a player 'self-isolation program' to help limit interactions and ensure players remain healthy. LINK
Wednesday 18 March 2020
- The NSWRL has confirmed the same - their competitions are off until at least the end of May. LINK
Tuesday 17 March 2020
- QRL has confirmed their statewide competitions are on hold until at least the 5th of June. LINK
- Raiders confirm Round 6 match v Newcastle Knights will be relocated back to GIO Stadium Canberra after initially being scheduled for Wagga Wagga. LINK
- The SMH has indicated the NSWRL and QRL are set to stop all competitions ahead of this weekend, with directives already sent to cease training activities. LINK
- Reports abound that the NRL are unhappy with Cameron Smith's calls on Sunday night to suspend the season. LINK
- The RFL overnight called a halt to the season for their major competitons - Betfred Super League, Betfred Championship and League 1 and Betfred Women's Super League. LINK
Monday 16 March 2020
- The International Rugby League has released a statement indicating they will continue to monitor the unfolding crisis but as yet there are no planned changes to international fixtures later this year. LINK
- AFL press conference - that code's season will be reduced to 17 rounds. There is currently no change to Thursday's season start. LINK
- The Sydney Roosters v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles match on Saturday will now be played at Leichhardt Oval. It was originally scheduled for Central Coast Stadium, Gosford. LINK
- The AFL is set to conduct a press conference at 5:30pm - in the meantime journalists have been able to confirm their reserve grade competition (VFL) will be suspended til at least May 31. LINK
- The latest info direct from NRL and the clubs - statements posted in the last 24-36 hours:
- The QRL will meet on Tuesday to make decisions about their statewide competitions going forward, with decisions communicated Wednesday. The PNG Hunters have remained in Australia ahead of Round 2. LINK
- The NRL has released information regarding refunds of single tickets for Round 2. LINK
- Another Greenberg press conference outlined little changes in the way forward - Round 2 will continue behind closed doors as planned. LINK
- The Warriors say they are unable to offer any guarantees beyond their Gold Coast match v the Raiders this weekend. The club released a statement on Monday morning. LINK
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been quoted as saying the NRL is a "fair way down the priority list" when it comes to stimulus funding, in response to Peter V'landys' cry for assistance yesterday.
- It's been revealed Titans forward Jai Arrow tested negative for Coronavirus last week.
- The FFA has taken the NRL and AFL's path in mandating matches be played behind closed doors starting with Wednesday's match between Sydney FC and Wellington.
Sunday 15 March 2020
- 2:30pm AEDT: The Australian Government has introduced some serious new restrictions similar to what the New Zealand Government announced yesterday, enforcing 14-day self-isolation for anyone travelling into Australia from overseas. This could have significant impacts for international teams in state competitons - NSWRL (Kaiviti Silktails in Ron Massey Cup; Warriors in Canterbury Cup) and QRL (PNG Hunters in Intrust Super Cup).
- 10:15am AEDT: Strong messaging from V'landys at the press conference in that they'll endeavour to continue the competition as long as possible based on the best available advice. Financial issues will cripple the game if there's no matches, according to the ARLC chairman. Full quotes in our Twitter thread - LINK
- 10:05am AEDT: Ch 7 journalist Chris Garry says NRL will continue with Round 2 for now - with everything assessed day by day. LINK
- 10am AEDT (12pm NZDT): We're moments away from the Greenberg & V'landys presser getting underway. It's live on Fox, Kayo and NRL.com. LINK
- 8am AEDT (10am NZDT): The Warriors have confirmed that for this week at least, the team will remain based in Australia, and will host the Raiders likely on the Gold Coast next Saturday. LINK
- The NRL will hold a 10am press conference to confirm next steps. LINK
Saturday 14 March 2020
- Daily Telegraph journo Michael Carayannis reports the Bulldogs may look to switch games to Belmore if the fan shut-out extends. LINK
- 5:50pm AEDT: No change to the Warriors scenario at the moment, although news from the A-League suggests Wellington Phoenix, their NZ based team, will remain in Australia for the rest of the 2019/20 season which has about 6-7 games left and finishes late April (finals in May).
- 4:00pm AEDT: The NRL appears likely to provide an update on the Warriors' situation after the completion of the currently-underway Knights-Warriors match.
- 3:10pm AEDT: Plenty of conjecture about the Warriors' immediate future given the NZ government's travel restrictions, which require anyone from non-Pacific Island nations to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the country. This rule kicks in from midnight Sunday.
- 3:00pm AEDT: New Zealand have withdrawn from the remaining two Cricket ODI's with Australia - government travel restrictions mean they need to go home tonight. LINK
- 2:20pm AEDT: Roosters forward Angus Crichton will miss tonight's clash with Penrith with pneumonia. He tested negative for COVID-19. LINK
- 8:00am AEDT: Cronulla confirm Bronson Xerri's test is negative and he does not have COVID-19. LINK
- 11 of the 16 clubs have issued specific releases about COVID-19 and it's effects on the club's upcoming activities & matches:
Friday 13 March 2020
- Danny Weidler reports that Cronulla's Bronson Xerri is being tested for Coronavirus. LINK
- 7:40pm AEDT: PM Morrison now will NOT attend Souths v Sharks on Saturday. LINK
- The NSWRL confirms minimal impact to their competitions ahead of the weekend. Their full COVID-19 guidelines are here.
- The QRL have issued a similar statement here.
- 7:05pm AEDT (8:05am GMT): Leeds will not travel to Perpignan for Saturday's Super League match against Catalans after a player showed symptoms of Coronavirus. The match is postponed. LINK
- 7:00pm AEDT: There are doubts over next Saturday's Eden Park NRL-Super Rugby double header. LINK
- 6:50pm AEDT: Whipping around other sports again, the FFA has confirmed this weekend's A-League and W-League matches will proceed as planned. LINK
- 6:15pm AEDT: You thought the news was over? Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has tested positive for COVID-19. What that means for cabinet ministers including PM Morrison remains to be seen. LINK
- 6pm AEDT: It's been a hectic day, it's time for some footy. Follow Titans v Raiders LIVE here.
- 5:55pm AEDT: Press conference summary:
- Round 1 proceeding as normal - as per government & health authority advice
- If you've got symptoms, stay home
- Round 2 will be played behind closed doors
- NRL will support clubs and ensure none are left behind with losses incurred by Coronavirus
- Beyond Round 2 will be assessed.
- 5:45pm AEDT: QRL club Easts Tigers have implemented a range of controls to enable fans to attend their matchday on Sunday. LINK
- 5:40pm AEDT: This presser will need to start soon if it's not going to overlap with the 6pm match... meanwhile the AFL has banned spectators from attending AFLW matches from tomorrow. LINK
- 5:25pm AEDT: Still no presser from NRL HQ as yet, but it is now all but confirmed Round 1 will proceed as planned for now, with fans locked out during Round 2 based on government advice.
- 4:50pm AEDT: Ahead of the press conference, the Bulldogs have confirmed their Round 2 clash with the Cowboys will be played behind closed doors next Thursday at ANZ Stadium. LINK
- 4:42pm AEDT: Telegraph reporter Michael Carayannis reports Round 1 will continue as scheduled in full, with lockouts to apply from Round 2. LINK
- 4:30pm AEDT: The Greenberg press conference is set for 5pm. Live feed via NRL.com.
- 4pm AEDT: NRL CEO Todd Greenberg is currently on a phone hook-up with the 16 club CEO's ahead of an expected press conference soon after.
- The NRL will allow tonight's games to proceed and will review the situation Saturday morning as developments continue.
- 3:40pm AEDT (2:40pm AEST): Cowboys v Broncos definitely going ahead as well. LINK
- 3:25pm AEDT: Raiders confirm tonight's Raiders v Titans match will proceed as scheduled. LINK
- 3:20pm AEDT: Morrison has issued a directive at a press conference to ban non-essential mass gatherings of people from Monday. The PM still plans to attend Souths v Sharks on Saturday. LINK
- 2:20pm AEDT: Prime Minister Scott Morrison is expected to give a press conference this afternoon following the 500+ person gathering advice. NRL matches remain under a cloud. LINK
- 1:50pm AEDT: Channel 7 Brisbane's Chris Garry reports that the NRL may again reconsider their position in light of the 500+ person event ban. LINK
- 1:35pm AEDT (12:25pm AEST): Cowboys v Broncos to go ahead as scheduled. Details at cowboys.com.au LINK
- 1:30pm AEDT: Nine News Sydney reports that the government will recommend events with more than 500 people not be held. LINK
- 12:05pm AEDT: Newcastle Herald reporter Barry Toohey reports that Saturday's Knights-Warriors clash is set to proceed. LINK
- Several sporting bodies in Australia as well as overseas have taken the unprecedented step of cancelling or postponing events due to the anticipated spread of COVID-19. In Australia in particular:
- F1 Grand Prix (Melbourne) cancelled LINK
- Cricket ODI Series between Australia and NZ to be played behind closed doors LINK
- The NRL has said it will wait until it receives advice from a meeting of Federal and State Governments on Friday before making any decisions around crowd measures, postponements or cancellations of NRL premiership matches. LINK
- The Australian's Brent Read reports that tonight's Cowboys v Broncos stadium opener in Townsville is set to proceed as planned. LINK
- Saturday's Round 7 Super League match between Catalans and Leeds in Perpignan (France) will be played behind closed doors. LINK
- Saturday's Jersey Flegg match between Penrith and North Sydney moves from NRL matchday at Penrith, will now be played Sunday 11am at St Marys. LINK
Thursday 12 March 2020
- The NRL confirmed the Eels-Bulldogs season opener would proceed, however released a set of guidelines to enhance game day protocols and protect players and fans. LINK
- The WHO declared the Coronavirus a global pandemic. LINK
- UK's governing body - Rugby Football League - released a statement on COVID-19. LINK