National Rugby League: Season to proceed until Australian government orders play to stop

George Williams
Former Wigan half-back George Williams (centre) is in his first season in Australia with Canberra Raiders

Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) say their season will continue until the government tells them to stop.

The season got under way last week but is being played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australia has introduced restrictions on non-essential services and travel.

"At this stage, our intent is to play on and we remain committed to the continuation of the 2020 season as far as government advice allows it," said NRL chief Todd Greenberg.

"We have, and always will, stringently follow all government health advice and medical protocols to protect the health and safety of the community, and our players."

Australia's domestic football competition - the A League - is also being played without fans.

But while Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V'landys has also outlined his intention for games to go ahead - on Sunday the Australian Rules football (AFL) season was suspended until 31 May.

In an interview with Australian broadcaster Channel Nine, former Kangaroos captain Brad Fittler said: "There is a difference between the two sports in that we do a lot less travel than the AFL.

"If there is some sort of way the NRL can go forward that would be on the back of that.

"They (the AFL) have got two teams in Western Australia, two teams in South Australia, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne so it takes a lot of travel. If there is an advantage to the NRL it would be the fact that it is predominantly played in two states.

"I know that there is a huge meeting that is going to go on and I am gathering what happens there is going to be the decider about whether the NRL goes forward and plays any games."