NRL Expert @JennaBrooks
NRL Talking points
Last Updated: 31/03/20 5:33pm
As the coronavirus continues to impact sport globally - Jenna Brooks has the latest from the NRL
Last week Wigan's George Burgess shocked the rugby league world when he revealed Super League players were expecting to take a pay-cut of up to 75 per cent.
While I've been told no player in the competition this side of the world will be expected to take a cut of that percentage, it looks like that's not the case for players Down Under.
This week The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that the Rugby League Players Association is set to agree to an interim 75 per cent pay-cut, with the RLPA demanding answers from the NRL on when AUS$10m (£4.9m), which was taken from the players' retirement fund will be repaid.
The NRL isn't required to have the funds available until the end of the broadcast cycle in 2022, however the RLPA have requested the money be repaid as soon as possible.
It's believed the NRL got permission from the RLPA to borrow from the retirement fund three years ago.
The NRL are hoping to return to action early July, with the prospect of sending the competition to a facility in Queensland under lockdown conditions, playing all games at the one ground.
There is also talk of a 20-week competition including finals, starting as late as September.
With suggestions that the salary cap for the 2021 season, could be cut by 40 per cent, which is close to AUS$4m, the question still stands.
Will we ever see the game look the same?
When it's safe to play again, Australia, NSW and Roosters captain Boyd Cordner has suggested the game welcomes its supporters back with a State of Origin showpiece.
"If September 1 does come around and we haven't played any footy and we can't play, why not pick a squad of 30 players for NSW and Queensland, isolate them, then play a five or seven-game Origin series when fans can come and watch," Cordner told The Sydney Morning Herald.
"You need some sort of rugby league, just to keep the dream alive.
"I'm only spitballing ideas. But something like that would be pretty cool.
"The crowd and spectacle is what makes Origin what it is. It's so patriotic, you've never seen a rivalry like it.
"Without fans it wouldn't be the same. We'd still play because you want to play Queensland any time, anywhere, but for rugby league moving forward you'd need a crowd to play it."
Wests Tigers have become the latest club to be impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
"As a club, we have today made the tough decision to stand down the majority of our staff - good people who have worked tirelessly to ensure Wests Tigers is what it is today - and that is not an easy decision to make," Cub CEO Justin Pascoe said in a club statement.
As a result of the suspension of the 2020 Telstra Premiership season, Wests Tigers have today made the difficult decision to stand down the majority of its football and administrative staff.— Wests Tigers (@WestsTigers) March 31, 2020
"As tough as these decisions are, they are done to ensure that Wests Tigers remain intact and can come out the other side of this crisis stronger for it."
The Melbourne Storm had to stand down a third of all staff from their football and administration departments and asked those remaining to take a 50 per cent pay-cut, effective immediately.
On Friday Brisbane announced their headquarters were closed until further notice, with Parramatta also standing down the majority of their club staff and cutting payroll costs by 75 per cent.
The NRL cancelled Magic Round, which was due to take place in May in Brisbane. NRL chief commercial officer Andrew Abdo said the event would return next year.