V\landys is charged with bringing back rugby league. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.
V\landys is charged with bringing back rugby league. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.

NRL believes it can open Queensland

Peter V'landys has told Queensland clubs they may only have to spend up to two weeks in NSW, with the NRL confident they will be allowed to play games in the Sunshine State.

The NRL has confirmed it will recommence the 2020 premiership season on May 28 after it was suspended in March following two rounds due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As it stands, Queensland's borders are closed to non-essential travellers, meaning the NRL would not be allowed to have teams coming in and out of the state.

The NRL is hopeful the border restrictions will be relaxed over the next month or the game secures an exemption from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

The worst case scenario would see the Brisbane Broncos, North Queensland Cowboys and Gold Coast Titans set up camp in NSW and play all their games south of the Tweed.

While V'landys is confident that will not be the case, the ARL Commission chairman said it would only be for a fortnight if it was required.

"I want to allay their fears because I'm confident it will only be for a couple of weeks - if that," he said.

"I'm sure at some point we will have an agreement with the government where we can fly them in and out with our chartered jets.

"If the infection rate is below one per cent in NSW and zero in Queensland then why would the borders be closed?

"We are hoping the borders will open up soon."

The Broncos are reluctant to base themselves in Sydney and have plans to set up camp in northern NSW if they are forced to leave Queensland.

Will the Broncos be forced to play out of Sydney? AAP Image/Darren England.
Will the Broncos be forced to play out of Sydney? AAP Image/Darren England.

 

Broncos coach Anthony Seibold said the club was working on contingency plans ahead of returning to training on May 4.

"We're awaiting some feedback from the NRL and government with regards to what's next for us," he said.

"If we need to relocate for a short period of time then that's what we need to do. We need to have a plan in place if we're allowed to stay in Queensland and a plan in place if we need to relocate.

"You won't hear any whingeing from me. The governments have got a job to do and we need to abide by that.

"I'm sure the NRL hierarchy is having the conversations with the appropriate people about how that's looking.

"All we can do from a footy perspective is be agile with our thinking and handle whatever we have to."

The Cowboys face the biggest relocation if they are required to leave Townsville indefinitely.

Cowboys coach Paul Green said his players were prepared to move if needed and the unfairness of the situation was just a fact of life.

Green is willing to shift his team if required. Picture by Alix Sweeney.
Green is willing to shift his team if required. Picture by Alix Sweeney.

"No it's not (fair), but if you look at everything going on at the moment - life's not fair," he said.

"There's a number of different industries where this situation has wreaked havoc.

"Will it all be fair if teams have to relocate? Probably not, but it is what it is. If we want to get the footy back on we have to deal with it and get on with it.

"Everyone is doing their best to make it as fair and equitable as possible, but the reality is some teams might have to make a bit more of a sacrifice than others.

"There's been some pretty tough lessons learnt over the past few weeks. Everyone realises how and why we get paid - that's to get on the paddock and play football.

"We met with the players this morning and the general consensus was they're all supportive. They want to get the games back on as much as everyone else.

"There are a few questions that need to be answered and hopefully in the next 48 hours we can get a bit more clarity."

Originally published as NRL believes it can open Queensland



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