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NRL searching for restart options


The NRL will immediately start searching for ways to resume the premiership as they aim to limit the first postponement in the league's history.

The NRL on Monday night opted against putting a timeline on the suspension of the competition, but warned things would likely get worse before they get better.

Play will only resume when the coronavirus curve is on the improve, with pandemic experts telling the league their stars are at risk if they continue playing right now.

In the meantime, though, the league will start scheming ideas to return to play as quickly as possible and outside of the normal home-and-away schedule if needed.

The league have still not ruled out the possibility of a string of magic weekends, while the idea of splitting the league into conferences is another possibility.

"Hopefully it will be in the next two weeks (we will be able to announce a plan)," ARL Commission Peter V'landys told Fox Legaue's NRL360.

"We are going to be totally head down, tail up looking at what the best option is.

"We want the game to survive. We want to get the game back for the fans and the players, and for all of us. It's an escape and a relief.

"We want it back as quick as we can. In the next two weeks we will look at every option, dot the i's, cross the t's.

"It will all depend on the expert advice, and if they tick it off as a viable option that it protects the health of the players."

The NRL has forecast December 20 as the latest they can play until in the year, meaning they have around three months to play with in breaks.

The head office has also asked all players to stay in self-isolation while the competition is off, in a bid to resume the competition as early as possible.

But they could have their issues.

Warriors players were due to return to New Zealand on Tuesday morning, and it could be impossible for them to return to Australia.

The states are also progressively shutting their borders, making interstate travel even more difficult.

Meanwhile, a number of clubs had already stood down a number of staff members in cost cutting measures, and asked others to take annual leave.

"We don't know what is ahead of us in terms of this pandemic," V'landys said.

"If it's as bad as the expert is telling us, we may have no options (available to keep playing).

"We will continue to take expert advice and what minimises the risk to our players."

© AAP 2020

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