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Opinion

What we don't know about the NRL's return date

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Roar Guru
9th April, 2020
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Success! We finally locked down a date. Thursday, 28 May 2020 is the date the season will resume.

The question is: how will the season resume?

Only time will tell. One thing for sure is that we can rule out the idea of all 16 teams going to the island resort near Queensland, and we can certainly rule out teams having their points taken away. Trust me, a lot of people would be pissed off if that went down.

However, there are a few things we need to summarise.

1. Will games still be closed?
This we probably do know: teams will for the early stages most likely play in front of no-one. While that does suck, it’s the way it has to be.

2. Will still we home games?
For many people like me, who buy season tickets for their clubs, memberships should carry on into next year. However, should that not be the case, I’ll be perfectly fine with it from my end. Why? Because the clubs need our money. It doesn’t matter who owns the clubs or who’s on the NRL board, the teams belong to their fans and the game belongs to us rugby league lovers.

3. What will the season structure look like?
ARL commissioner Wayne Pearce has suggested the league would prefer not to play in a conference system, which means there’ll likely be 15 more rounds. So the idea is teams will play another 13 games. State of Origin is also set to go ahead in its three-match format. I think Representative Round will also count as a round and a bye.

4. Will some teams have to relocate?
Pearce also said the structure of the competition hadn’t yet been decided given the changing nature of restrictions along state lines. Could the competition be set in Sydney only? All Sydney teams would be there of course, but all Queensland teams plus the Storm and the Warriors would have to relocate.

Newcastle, Canberra, Penrith and Parramatta wouldn’t have to budge if this were the case, but I’m not sure if any of them would be able to play at their home grounds in this scenario – Newcastle may not be able to use Marathon as their home ground again this year, for example.

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So Roarers, what’s your opinion? How do you see the season unfolding?