Australian News

NRL strikes new pay deal with players as May 28 restart takes shape after coronavirus shutdown

NRL players will resume group training on Wednesday after officially agreeing to a pay deal, which guarantees them 80 per cent of their contracted payment for the 2020 season.

Clubs are limited to training in groups of 10 in the coming days, but are expected to be given the green light to resume full squad training next week.

“We said from the start we are all in this together and our players have proved that,” Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys said in a statement.

“Many of them are making significant sacrifices for the competition to restart and that is not lost on anyone.”.

V’landys said he remained confident the NRL competition was on track to start in three weeks.

“It is full steam ahead for the resumption of the competition on May 28. All eyes will be on the NRL as the only live sport on television,” he said.

Rugby League Players’ Association chief executive Clint Newton praised the league for the haste in which the re-jigged deal was struck.

“We worked through arguably the fastest and most collaborative process in the game’s history to secure clarity and clear direction for the industry and our members,” he said.

“We set a new standard, which should become the hallmark for our industry, which will give us the best chance to build a more sustainable and solid foundation for the game’s future.”

While most players spent today taking on board the coronavirus protocols, the Warriors got the jump on their rivals and trained while in quarantine in Tamworth.

Melbourne is still seeking final approval to set up base in Albury.

“The New Zealand Warriors and the Melbourne Storm have had to leave their homes and their families and on behalf of all rugby league fans we thank them for that and we thank all players who will be living with stronger restrictions than current government health orders,” V’landys said.

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