The NRL will return after a three-week pre-season. AAP Image/Darren England.
The NRL will return after a three-week pre-season. AAP Image/Darren England.

NRL stars head back to school before restart

Queensland's NRL players will head back to school Monday as clubs prepare to host education seminars on the code's strict new biosecurity protocols.

Players and staff across the NRL will meet on Monday to discuss what is expected of them over the next month and dissect a raft of new measures introduced to get the competition back underway on May 28.

It comes as the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans get ready to head back to training as early as Tuesday for a three-week pre-season training block.

Clubs were expected to receive the final copy of the biosecurity arrangements Sunday and will use Monday's meeting to inform their players of the new protocols.

If all players and staff agree to the terms, then training will return tomorrow - albeit slightly different to the way things were.

A reduced "bubble" of just 32 players and 18 staff members will be allowed on site as the game attempts to limit the number of people involved.

Players will also be limited to training in just groups of 10 for the rest of this week.

The raft of new measures put in place by the NRL comes as the code attempts to prevent further outbreaks of COVID-19.

Most players are understood to be supportive of the new measures, which include compulsory flu injections to play and having their homes approved by a club medical officer.

ARLC chairman Peter V'landys also encouraged players to download the Federal Government's COVID-19 app as a further precaution.

"Of all the tests that have been done, only one per cent are positive, the virus has been well contained by the government … and if everyone downloads the app the virus will be extinguished sooner rather than later," V'Landys said on Channel 9's Sport Sunday.

Vlandys is confident players will follow the rules. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.
Vlandys is confident players will follow the rules. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.

"We are going to discuss that (downloading the app) with the players (on Monday) - everything is done in consultation and agreement.

"They have their education day on Monday.

"They will go through all that.

"(But) it is important they download the app because that is our best protection. The players' association have agreed the app is essential."

V'Landys was confident the players will abide by the strict new protocols despite several incidents last week.

"We need to trust our players, and have that confidence in them," he said.

"They realise the importance, not only are they affecting themselves but they are also affecting the 485 colleagues and the game itself.

"If they do something wrong they jeopardise the whole game, so the consequences are immense."

Originally published as NRL stars head back to school