Don Furner spoke to the media on Saturday 2 May to address the current state of play for the Canberra Raiders as the NRL’s (National Rugby League) “ambitious attempt” to kick off on 28 May draws closer.
Furner mentioned there have been constant conversations between several parties as they work towards that target date.
“There’s a real cooperation between the NRLPA (National Rugby League Players Association), the players, the clubs and government because we all need it to be back.”
Furner also gave insight into the strict biosecurity measures that will need to be followed by each club when training.
“Drive past our training venue here next week and it will all be temporarily fenced off, only one point of entry and exit.
“No one else allowed inside the whole perimeter let alone the building apart from the 32 players and 18 staff.
“They will be temperature tested as they come in, they will be filling out information on a daily app so that our doctor and physio can monitor any signs that if there is any risk they will be sent off for testing,” Furner said.
For the first week of training, it is believed that players will be restricted to groups of 10 with no wrestling or tackling allowed as training ramps up gradually.
“And everything is sanitised here, all the jerseys, the equipment, the towels are all washed every day.”
Unfortunately for Raiders fans, the strict measures mean there is to be no contact with the general public and the return of crowds to the game is still unknown.
“Players love being around the fans, particularly the kids. No school visits, no hospital visits. No open training sessions.
“Looks likely the resumption of play will be without crowds and quite possibly until semi-finals or the whole year.”
Furner then went on to say he was hopeful of seeing a revised 2020 season draw after a meeting next week.
“Obviously, that has a lot to do with the broadcasters. So the NRL are trying to work out a deal, number of matches, who shows what matches and what broadcasters will pay for those matches. Then the draw will come after that,” he said.