Millions at stake as NRL mystery remains

The NRL community will soon find out whether they will get at least one more week of football or face life without the game indefinitely.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys and chief executive Todd Greenberg will front the media at 10am AEDT today following crisis talks brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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It came after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced a 14-day self-quarantine for international arrivals beginning midnight on Sunday (NZDT). The development instantly raised questions around the Warriors’ ability to participate in the competition, and, in turn, the league as a whole.

There have been suggestions that the Warriors, who arrive home before the start of the travel restriction, could remain in Australia in a bid to keep playing. However that would force Warriors players, including expectant father Peta Hiku, to be away from families for an indefinite period.

At the very least, the Warriors’ round-two clash with Canberra next week in Eden Park — part of a double-header with Super Rugby — appears dead in the water. The worst-case scenario would be to postpone the competition indefinitely, which could leave the code in financial ruin.

Canberra chief executive Don Furner fears NRL clubs will face a million dollar hit if the crowd shut-out due stretches beyond a few weeks.

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The NRL season is in doubt.Source:AAP

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The NRL has already announced any matches next week will be played without fans.

It is believed the governing body is also considering a Magic round-style concept of locking teams down in one city and playing all eight games at a single venue.

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary believes it is time for the game to “bite the bullet” and follow the lead of overseas sporting competitions by postponing the season.

Cleary revealed two reserve grade players missed their Canterbury Cup match after experiencing high temperatures.

“It’s purely about people’s health first,” Cleary said.

“That’s just the way you gotta run with it. I just feel like, I hope we just don’t do band-aid solutions. Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and get it sorted out.”

Cleary called for the league’s decision-makers to make the big calls.

“Just before I came here today I heard the bit about the Warriors, the New Zealand thing, it looks like they’re doing that,” he said.

“It’d be good if people at the top made some really strong statements and everyone got on board. It just feels like it’s hour by hour everything changes.

“All it does is cause uncertainty.”

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