Rugby league: NRL season will 'definitely' resume May 28

Eliesa Katoa in possession. Newcastle Knights v Vodafone Warriors. NRL Rugby League. McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, Australia.14th March 2020. Copyright Photo: David Neilson / www.photosport.nz
Photo credit: Photosport

The NRL will officially resume its 2020 season on May 28, after the Australian Government gave the revamped competition a green light.

On Wednesday, Australian Rugby League commissioner Wayne Pearce, who heads the 'Project Apollo' innovations committee planning the NRL's return, confirmed the restart date was locked in.

Teams have been cleared to return to training from May 4, before a three-week pre-season kicks off.

Pearce was unable to confirm details regarding the Warriors arrival, but insisted the matter was high priority.

"We are working with the Government authorities to get them over here and get them through a quarantine period, and have them ready with the other teams for the start of the competition," Pearce said.

"We're working through all those details, we haven't finalised that yet."

Concerns have been raised that a potential two-week quarantine when the NZ side arrive in Australia would limit their ability to train.

The club has also applied for an exemption to enter New South Wales, where they hope to be based.

"There is a lot of water to go under the bridge before we can confirm our position in the comp," George told Newshub on Monday. "If we don't get that [exemption], then clearly we can't go.

"Once we work out all the other details, then great, but there is nothing bigger at the moment than getting exemption into Australia."

Points from the opening two rounds of the NRL will stand when the season restarts.

"What we achieved today was a lot more clarity around the medical process and what those protocols are," Pearce added. 

"We clarified that May 28 is a definite and also confirmed that May 4 is the resumption date for training.

"Everyone is supportive of what we're doing. Everyone is unified into getting back on the field.

"We feel like we owe it, not just to the players and coaches, but the thousands of staff members at various clubs and associated industries that are out on the unemployment lines too."