Coronavirus pandemic 'forces' suspension of NRL season

ARL chairman Peter V'landys.
ARL chairman Peter V'landys. Photo credit: File.

The NRL has been forced to suspend its season, amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

On Monday evening, the league confirmed the spread of the deadly virus left "no other option".

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys told media that player safety could "no longer be guaranteed".

"We were alarmed at how this changed in 24 hours," said V'landys. "Today it took a dramatic turn. 

"We've left it open and will make further announcements in the future. All options are still on the table, but what's paramount is the health of our players."

A statement on the NRL website says the "shifting nature" of COVID-19 has "forced the NRL's hand".

ARLC chief executive officer Todd Greenberg says players will likely have their salaries cut.

"While I say it's a tough day for the game, I know it's a tough time for everyone across our community," he said in a statement.

"We look at returning as soon as it is safe to do so."

The NZ Warriors are in Australia after losses to the Newcastle Knights and Canberra Raiders. They will return to Auckland on Tuesday, just 24 hours before New Zealand enters a near total lockdown.