The Warriors look set to train in isolation for two weeks in New South Wales after being granted federal government exemption to travel to Australia to play out the remainder of the 2020 NRL season.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys told AAP tonight the Australian Border Force have allowed the Warriors to fly into the country and they could touch down in Australia as early as Sunday.

The league will now meet with the NSW state government on Tuesday to gain approval for the Warriors to self-quarantine in central NSW.

If the request is rejected the Warriors would reportedly have to isolate in a hotel for 14 days, which could delay the competition's reboot by a fortnight.


"That's the next step of the puzzle," V'landys told AAP.

"The border security have given us exemption for them to come in, and we couldn't go to the state government until we had that approval.

"We've now gone to the state government to get the approval for them to train while they're in quarantine because it's no risk to the community."

It means the NRL has moved one step closer to ensuring its May 28 restart will see all 16 teams included.

And given the Warriors already set a precedent for such a move last month, V'Landys is confident the request should be approved.

"They had five players come over to replace the players that went back to New Zealand on compassionate grounds, and they were allowed to stay in a facility and train similarly with what we wish to do now," V'Landys said.

The NRL expects a definitive answer before Wednesday.

Eliesa Katoa and the NZ Vodafone Warriors after they lost their match against the Canberra Raiders in the NRL Telstra Premiership. Photo /
Eliesa Katoa and the NZ Vodafone Warriors after they lost their match against the Canberra Raiders in the NRL Telstra Premiership. Photo /



The Sydney Morning Herald reports Channel Nine has agreed only to pay for what was stipulated in the original broadcast contract, which was an NRL season that ended on October 4.

Nine intend only to fulfil their contractual obligations, which means a 17-round season beginning on May 28 was agreed as a minimum season length between Peter V'landys and broadcasters.

The possibility of extending the season to a 20-round competition will depend on how much the NRL is willing to sacrifice.

The NRL gets about $11 million from its broadcasters per round - $8 million from Fox Sports for all eight games and $3 million from Nine for three games

Nine has been looking to save as much money as possible from its rugby league deal in 2020, which means they are likely the broadcaster that is unwilling to pay for more than the 17-round season.

If only Nine doesn't pay, the NRL will be about $9 million down if it plays another three rounds. That increases to a whopping $24 million if Fox Sports follows suit.



NRL players and staff will be subject to environment checks as well as a number of strict protocols laid out in an extensive biosecurity document sent to clubs on Sunday night.

The 48-page draft document outlined a list of health and safety measures for clubs to abide by to return to training on May 4.

As the NRL charges towards a May 28 restart, clubs will be required to register a maximum of 50 players and staff to gain access to training and games - all of whom will need to have their environments approved.

An identified risk is believed to require the player or staff member to find alternative accommodation.

Other guidelines include temperature checks, daily cleaning of equipment, single access to venues and isolation for players in their homes except for travelling to training, playing, doctor's visits or essential food shopping.


Also proposed are restrictions on training in public spaces outside of the club environment, and a ban on using public transport, taxis and car sharing.

The NRL has already warned any breach of the health and safety measures will carry strict penalties, which is understood to include loss of competition points and fines.

The NRL is also looking at appointing an independent "spy" to make sure teams are abiding by protocols.

While details are yet to be finalised, the NRL believes the new protocols will be more stringent than government restrictions.

Clubs will now have five business days to organise equipment and staff to meet the strict guidelines.

The RLPA and club bosses will meet on Monday afternoon to give their feedback to the guidelines before they are approved.


Meanwhile, the NRL will work with the RLPA to determine whether the Australian Government's coronavirus contact app will form part of the game's biosecurity framework sent to clubs.

The controversial app was launched on Sunday for Australians to download and trace whether they had come in contact with a confirmed coronavirus case. And while there are concerns over privacy and data storage, the NRL threw its support behind the technology and vowed to support and promote it.

"This app is a simple, genius idea that can help protect public health and eradicate the virus," said ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys.

"We absolutely believe in the importance of the community health message and are proud to work with the government to promote it far and wide.

"Right from the start of this pandemic we acknowledged the important role our sport, and the role models in our game, can play in helping authorities get important messages to the public so we can beat this virus."

The app relies on bluetooth technology and will track contact with other users who are within 1.5 metres for more than 15 minutes.