Peter V'landys believes the NRL season can restart as early as June, not July, amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Coronavirus: V'landys 'very confident' NRL can return on June 1


Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys is "very confident" the NRL season will resume on June 1, despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The NRL postponed the 2020 campaign through just two rounds on March 23 amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has halted sport across the globe.

On Friday, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg said all ideas were on the table, with the league determined to get the competition back underway as soon as it is safe to do so.

Now, V'landys believes the season can restart as early as June, not July in Australia – where there have been more than 5,500 confirmed cases and at least 30 deaths.

"I'm very confident about it [the season resuming on June 1] actually," V'landys told 2GB radio on Saturday. "We've got the best can-do man in Wayne Pearce setting up this committee and he's looking at all options.

"You only have to look at the infection rate. When we stopped playing the infection rate was just on about 23 per cent. Yesterday it was 3.9 per cent and today it's 4.3 per cent.

"You've got to remember that we're eight weeks away and if these figures continue to be that low, there's less risk now than what there was when we were playing [up until March 22]."

Financial concerns have emerged for both clubs and players, prompting the NRL to deliver a 40 million Australian dollars rescue package to all 16 teams.

The NRL and Rugby League Players' Association (RLPA) also reached an agreement on a revised pay deal for players on Thursday, ensuring two months' worth of wages and payments.

Due to the postponement of the 2020 season, players will surrender five out of 12 months' salary if the NRL is unable to resume.

But the competition possibly resuming in June would be a big boost for players, with V'landys adding: "What the deal was with the players was in a worst-case scenario that they don't play again this year.

"[But] that's not going to happen. They are going to play football and what we've negotiated is what revenues we get when we recommence we share with the players.

"So, the players certainly will be getting more, not necessarily what their contractual obligations are because there might be less revenue. We've just got to see what revenue we can get and the players will share in that."

Matches, though, will continue to be played behind closed doors without fans when and if the campaign restarts.

"But that's better than not playing at all," V'landys said. "The majority of our revenue comes from broadcasting so if we can broadcast the matches and have some atmosphere somehow, I think that's probably our best option."



Super League matches called off

Snow leads to Super League postponements

Three Super League matches which were due to take place on Thursday and Friday have been called off or put back.


Smith undecided over future

Storm skipper Smith undecided over future

Cameron Smith is in no rush to decide whether he will play on in 2019 ahead of the new NRL season.


Wigan rally to beat Widnes

Wigan fight back to beat Widnes, two sent off as Hull defeat Warrington

Rampant Wigan Warriors scored six second-half tries to beat Widnes Vikings, while Warrington lost at Hull FC.


Thurston's Cowboys up and running

Thurston's Cowboys up and running, Pearce enjoys dream Knights debut

Johnathan Thurston made his 300th NRL appearance and a record-breaking 271st for the Cowboys as they beat the Sharks on Friday.


Percival shines in Saints win

Percival treble ensures Saints stay perfect

St Helens rolled on in their impressive start to the Super League season, with Mark Percival starring against Warrington Wolves.