NRL 2020: Broadcasters agree to May 28 restart

The NRL has reached an agreement with its broadcasters to relaunch the season on May 28.

Channel Nine and Fox Sports Australia will both support the NRL in its plan to start the season next month.

The length of season is still to be confirmed, with a decision expected early next week.

Reports from Australia suggest  the season length will run anywhere between 17 and 22 rounds, with State of Origin to be played in October and November. 

The Rugby League Players Association and clubs will be consulted on a competition format next week before a decision is made. 

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys is pleased the start date has been officially locked in, but admits there is plenty to get done.  

"We're united on the commencement date, the target date being the 28th of May," V'landys told

"From there we just need a bit more information on the competition structure, so everything's going to plan.

"And the meeting was very amicable and held in very good spirits and all three parties are united in aiming to get the game back and give it as big an audience as possible."

V'landys added that negotiations around exemptions for the NZ Warriors in Australia before the proposed May 4 return-to-training date remain ongoing at government level.

According to Channel Nine, Warriors playmaker Blake Green has requested his team must be allowed to bring their families with them should they be stuck in Australia for an extended period of time.

Warriors playmaker Blake Green.
Warriors playmaker Blake Green. Photo credit: Photosport

V'landys has to also speak to the  Queensland government about the NRL's plans to allow teams to travel back and forth across the border.

That would save the Gold Coast Titans, Brisbane Broncos and North Queensland Cowboys from all having to base themselves in New  South Wales when the competition returns. 

Meanwhile, AAP is reporting that Nine is requesting a shorter season to avoid a clash with the T20 World Cup at the end of the year.

Should an agreement be reached for a 17 or 18-round campaign (including the two rounds played before COVID-19 halted play) the Grand Final can be held at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) as originally planned before October 10. 

After October 19, the SCG is handed over to the International Cricket Council for November's Twenty20 World Cup - at this stage, the men's tournament is still going ahead. 

If that does happen, Bankwest Stadium would most likely host the Grand Final.