NRL reaches tentative pay deal, training set to resume

SYDNEY (AFP) – Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) said it had reached the basics of a pay deal with players yesterday, paving the way for limited training to resume.

Rugby league authorities have sprinted toward resuming play as quickly as possible – floating a series of schemes in the hope of avoiding an extended disruption because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The playing group has confirmed their commitment to returning to official training tomorrow and approved a pay deal in readiness for the resumption of the Premiership,” the NRL said.

Social-distancing restrictions are still in place Down Under, so “normal” full-contact training will not resume for another week at least.

But NRL Chairman Peter V’landys said, “It is full steam ahead for the resumption of the competition on May 28.”

The pay deal will see “players guaranteed 80 per cent of their contracted payments for the 2020 season” the NRL said.