The Australian Rugby League Commission and the National Rugby League have announced it will suspend the 2020 Telstra Premiership Season until further notice.
In response to both the revised medical advice from government health officials and biosecurity experts, coupled with the travel bans introduced by the Queensland and New Zealand governments, the NRL said it was unable to continue the competition. The Commission will monitor the situation daily and review the competition next month.
Australian Rugby League Chairman Peter V’landy’s said it was a devastating day for rugby league, but in light of the dramatic shift in advice and restrictions, it was the only possible outcome.
"This is a dark day in our game’s history," Mr V’landy’s said. "But we had to take this unprecedented action as there was simply no other option.
"We have always said we would continue but only as long it was safe to do so.
"When the advice tells us, we can no longer guarantee player safety because of the rapid rate at which infection is spreading, we must act accordingly. We will monitor the advice daily and recommence when it is simply safe and prudent to do so."
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said the challenge to the game's future was enormous but rugby league will endure the challenge, no matter its length or severity.
"Our game has never faced a challenge like this. So, while this is a tough day for our game, we know it is a tough time for everyone across the entire community," Greenberg said.
"But we respect that the increasing risk means we must act to protect our players, staff and the community.
"The impact of this decision on those who work within rugby league will be significant. All we can do as a sport, and a community, is remain united and follow the expert advice to keep ourselves and our families safe.
"So, while we cannot say with certainty what the future holds, I know the rugby league community as a whole will work through this as a team.
"We are all in this together and we will get through this together."