The NRL and Rugby League Players’ Association (RLPA) have agreed to a pay deal that will see players be guaranteed 80 percent of their contracts for the 2020 NRL season, as the season restart on May 28 looms closer.
Players will begin returning to official training today in reduced numbers, before full team training sessions resume next week.
RLPA CEO, Clint Newton, said the deal would not have been possible without the high standard of cooperation between the NRL and the players.
“We worked through arguably the fastest and most collaborative process in the game’s history to secure clarity and clear direction for the industry and our members,” Newton said.
“We set a new standard which should become the hallmark for our industry, which will give us the best chance to build a more sustainable and solid foundation for the game’s future,” he said.
With the resumption of training today, the NRL is remaining committed to its restart date of May 28, with this deal originally seen as a significant hurdle to play restarting.
Australia Rugby League Commission chairman, Peter V’landys, said the NRL’s return will be worthwhile with more interest than ever due to the continued suspension of most sporting competitions around the world due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
“It is full steam ahead for the resumption of the competition on May 28,” V’landys said.
“All eyes will be on the NRL as the only live sport on television.
“There will never have been more interest in rugby league than on May 28,” he said.
V’landys also said he appreciates the sacrifices made by the players and across the entire league.
“We said from the start we are all in this together and our players have proved that,” V’landys said.
“Many of them are making significant sacrifices for the competition to restart and that is not lost on anyone.
“The New Zealand Warriors and the Melbourne Storm have had to leave their homes and their families and on behalf of all rugby league fans we thank them for that and we thank all players who will be living with stronger restrictions than current government health orders,” he said.