The NRL will deliver a 40 million Australian dollars rescue package to all 16 clubs to help with operating costs amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The league was postponed through just two rounds on March 23 due to the COVID-19 crisis, which has brought sport to a standstill across the world.

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chair Peter V'landys and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg announced the revised financial plan – which provides clubs with the capacity to survive the financial year with either a remodelled 20-week competition or no games – on Monday, with monthly grant payments to teams between April and October.

The NRL will also reduce its operating costs by 53 per cent, including a 95 per cent reduction in staffing levels during the shutdown period and a 25 per cent cut in executive salaries.

Meanwhile, the NRL has proposed a funding model for player payments to the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA).

"We have a consolidated plan and working with the clubs and the players, are united in our efforts to do all we can to protect rugby league," V'landys said. 

"We had no option but to stop the competition in the wake of advice from our Biosecurity and Pandemic expert but remain optimistic that the season will restart as quickly as possible, ideally by July 1.

"If that isn't possible, then we need to be prepared for that option as well and are making the tough financial decisions now to reduce costs to ensure we get through this crisis."

Greenberg added: "We are working together to achieve the best outcome in the short, and long term. We must use this opportunity to reset the game's costs and overall structure.

"These measures will put the game in the best position to rebound strongly from the pandemic."

Globally, there have been more than 33,980 deaths and over 723,000 confirmed cases.

In Australia, at least 17 people have died from coronavirus, with more than 4,100 cases.

Wests Tigers head coach Michael Maguire believes NRL athletes should be ready to play at a week's notice, with the league suspended indefinitely due to coronavirus.

The NRL postponed the season on March 23 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought sport to a standstill across the world.

Only two rounds of the 2020 season were completed when the league was put on hiatus and the NRL is determined to resume the campaign in some form.

As the competition faces an uncertain future, Maguire told NRL.com: "If we only had a week, you'd play in a week.

"Is that the right thing for their bodies at that time … it's not ideal. Yes, in our game it would be handy to have a lead-in and all those things to get our players back.

"From a sports science view they'd want to have a month but if we got to September and it was getting tight and we were ready to go, I can't see players not wanting to play.

"It's their job to look after themselves during this period. That's the expectation in professional sport, the players that do it better than others will go on and kick on when the season starts and create opportunities for themselves."

Maguire, whose Tigers won one of their opening two games, added: "If you went away and did it you'd succeed and if you didn't you found you weren't playing at the top level.

"It's a learning experience for the young guys to see what it used to be like. We didn't have all the coaches or the facilities that we have, we had to rely on ourselves. Some did it well and others didn't.

"They're men and this is their trade so I think if they take responsibility and look after themselves they'll be in good shape by the time it comes back.

"I think every coach would've been talking to their players about that.

"There's a lot of chatter around gym equipment being moved into player's garages and everyone's training but that's the expectation of a professional sportsman now.

"If you're not then you're not going to have the career you thought you would."

Australia and New South Wales representative Tyson Frizell will leave St George Illawarra Dragons at season's end to join Newcastle Knights.

Frizell, 28, has accepted a three-year deal from the Knights, it was confirmed on Friday.

Amid financial uncertainty in the NRL with the season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, no new or updated contracts are being registered.

The Dragons confirmed Frizell's departure, with the back-rower having joined St George Illawarra in 2013.

"Tyson Frizell received one of the most substantial offers in St George Illawarra history to remain at the club beyond the 2020 season," Dragons director of rugby league pathways and list management Ian Millward said.

"It was a deal that reflected his contribution over the past eight years, and of course, the seasons that would have followed.

"We made responsible decisions when determining Tyson's value and contract extension.

"Tyson's decision to depart the Dragons at season's end will now allow the club to pursue other quality players in the marketplace."

Frizell has played 14 Tests for Australia, while he has represented New South Wales on 11 occasions.

Athletes are at risk of having their careers cut short if soon-to-be free agents face a prolonged period of unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic, warned World Players Association executive director Brendan Schwab.

COVID-19 has brought sport to a standstill across the globe, with the 2020 Olympic Games, major European football leagues, the NBA, MLB and NHL postponed.

Euro 2020 and Copa America 2020 have been pushed back to next year amid the fight to combat the spread of the virus, which has claimed more than 21,290 lives.

It remains to be seen when and if the 2019-20 Premier League, LaLiga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 seasons will resume, raising doubts over the futures of football players – whose contracts are due to expire in June.

The likes of Edinson Cavani and Thiago Silva (both Paris Saint-Germain), Willian (Chelsea) and Dries Mertens (Napoli) are all set to become free agents.

As clubs and organisations try to reduce costs amid the economic crisis, Schwab – who works for World Players, which brings together 85,000 players across professional sports through more than 100 player associations in over 60 countries – told Stats Perform: "The challenge is to ensure enough liquidity during the shutdown so that the same content can be delivered to fans, broadcasters and brands but over a longer period.

"Existing contracts and regulations such as contract expiry dates and transfer windows will all need to be reformulated which can only be done though collective decision-making involving governments, sports bodies, broadcasters, stadia operators, player unions and civil society. The impact on the sporting schedule will be long-lasting and may take several years to return to normal.

"Seasons just starting – such as MLB, AFL and NRL – have a longer struggle in many ways. Shortened seasons are likely, but it all depends on the length of the shutdown, liquidity and the window available to complete seasons. Sports which own their own infrastructure will have greater flexibility and will be in a stronger position to design solutions.

"The key is collective decision-making, goodwill and long-term thinking, all of which can be difficult during such uncertainty. Many key sports governing, commercial and player contracts have 'force majeure' clauses which may apply in these circumstances. Certain parties may be able to 'cut and run', but that will only worsen the bleeding and make recovery more difficult. We need to bunker down, show we care about our people, fight the pandemic, exercise restraint, save as many jobs and legitimate commercial interests as we can, and re-emerge with a renewed, sustainable and collectively developed economic model.

"Tuesday was the anniversary of the death of arguably football’s most influential figure, Johan Cruyff. He famously said that there is advantage in every disadvantage. That thinking is needed right now."

Schwab added: "Individual players will be impacted differently. The destiny of free agents will depend much on the state of the leagues once the shutdown has been lifted. There is a risk that players coming off contract will face a prolonged period of unemployment if the shutdown continues, which can be career ending.

"The top players should be OK during this period, but remember they are a fraction of players and athletes who work professionally. It is likely that the economic impact of the shutdown will result in a deflated labour market for some time, which will suppress wages even among the viable leagues. For leagues outside the very top echelon, it may be a battle for survival.

"However, sport's essential role in society will be unchanged and may even be renewed and elevated. It will have a critical role to play as the community reunites after the pandemic and we expect a major resurgence in demand. Sport is therefore an important part of government planning, and it is pleasing to see that progressive governments in Switzerland, Sweden and some other countries have included sport in the stimulus packages they are announcing. They will reap a community dividend for doing so even as they balance the essential interests of the broader society and economy."

"[Next year] an intense year for sport as current seasons will now run well into the northern summer and that will require a readjusted schedule in 2021," the Australian executive continued. "The postponement of the Olympics may allow for existing concerns to be addressed including the health and safety impacts of the extreme heat of July-August in Tokyo. These issues all need to be worked through. We shouldn't assume the Olympics are simply put back 12 months. We are consulting with our affiliates about how to approach the shaping of the 2021 sports calendar."

Coronavirus has largely affected the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions, but Schwab said: "We have been concerned with some of the heath information being conveyed, including that COVID-19 is a disease that mainly affects the elderly and the vulnerable. Athletes, too, are vulnerable, despite being young and fit. The disease attacks the lungs, and athletes themselves have suffered very severe symptoms which may be long-lasting. There have been fatalities among people between 20 and 44 and young people can transmit the virus even if they don't have symptoms.

"Players have also been forced into quarantine when living away from their families. It is necessary that effective support mechanisms are in place to ensure the mental health and social wellbeing of players as well as their physical health. Our player unions play an essential role here."

Canberra Raiders hooker Josh Hodgson said NRL players are facing one final pay cheque as Australia's rugby league competition feels the pinch due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NRL announced on Monday it was suspending its 2020 season until further notice amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed at least 21,200 people worldwide.

The financial impact is set to hit NRL clubs hard, like many sports and leagues around the world, and Englishman Hodgson is unsure what the future holds.

"There is a potential we may not get anything," Hodgson said.

"We only finished playing last week. To say we might not even get paid in two weeks is a weird one.

"I think we are guaranteed one pay but after that I am not sure."

The Raiders opened their new multi-million-dollar Centre of Excellence only three weeks ago, but it will shut down on Friday with all staff placed on indefinite leave.

"Some of that is paid, some of that is unpaid for those that don't have any annual leave left," Raiders CEO Don Furner said on Thursday.

"The coaching staff are here for another month and there's uncertainty about what we'll be doing with them after the end of April, more than likely they'll be taking unpaid leave.

"We've got young staff here that are pregnant, just about to give birth, some have bought houses, some are not sure what their job prospects are and then the same with the football staff, there's not a lot of jobs available in that space.

"With regards to the players, we're still working with the NRL and the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA) in terms of what will happen with their pays going forward.

"We've just moved into this facility here. It costs a lot to run and we're shutting it down. We're emptying the pools, cutting back on ground maintenance, cleaning services, all your regular services that you would normally utilise are all being cut back because we cannot afford to run this place.

"It's magnificent, we only opened it three weeks ago, the staff are all moving in today and tomorrow from Bruce and that will be their last day."

South Sydney Rabbitohs general manager of football Shane Richardson has resigned to help the NRL club's financial position amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The NRL and its clubs are under financial pressure after its season was suspended on Monday due to coronavirus.

Richardson, who has been with the Rabbitohs for 16 years including as CEO, resigned to help the club, although he will still be a consultant.

"In times like these, leaders have to step forward and lead," he said in a statement on Thursday.

"When we were reviewing things with Blake [Solly, Rabbitohs CEO] early in the week, it became very clear to me on Tuesday that I needed to step down. The cost of having me remain in the football department was one of our largest costs and as a club we need to cut the cloth to suit the suit.

"I made the decision on my own, it's my decision, and then I informed Blake, the board and Russell [Crowe]. No-one pushed me into this decision. It became very obvious to me that this was a decision that needed to be made for the next 18 months for the club.

"I'll remain on as a consultant to the club to assist in different areas where they see the need and this will be a part-time arrangement."

Rabbitohs chairman Nick Pappas lauded Richardson's contribution at the NRL club.

"Shane has been the heart of the Rabbitohs for the past 16 years and he has offered great service to the club throughout this period," he said.

"He has seen the club rise from the very bottom to the very top, as is evidenced by our premiership victory in 2014.

"We owe him a debt of gratitude for his commitment to the club over an extended period of time and we look forward to his wise counsel through the consultancy arrangement we have reached with him.

"We offer our best wishes to both Shane and his wife Kate and we look forward to seeing them at a game in the not too distant future."

The NRL season was suspended after two rounds, with the Rabbitohs sitting eighth.

NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg wants to see all 16 clubs survive amid financial worries, but said some were being hit by the "perfect storm".

The NRL announced on Monday it was suspending its season until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Like many sports and leagues around the world, the financial impact is set to be felt by the NRL and its clubs, but Greenberg is keen to ensure none fold.

"That's been the commission's view from start to finish is that no-one gets left behind and we've got to make sure that we have an ability to help all 16 stay afloat for the premiership and for the long-term and that's really important," he told Fox Sports on Thursday.

"Some will be doing it harder than others. It's almost a perfect storm for some of our Sydney clubs as their licensed clubs have closed at the same time. A lot of the Sydney-based clubs are so reliant on leagues clubs funding so for this moment in time where their leagues clubs are closed and a big part of their revenues comes from those, as well as having the gates closed for membership and ticketing and sponsorship, as well as the TV money, it is a very, very difficult time.

"Our goal as we stand here today is to make sure all 16 come out the other end. As I said, it's not going to be easy and there's a lot of hard decisions being made.

"You just talked about the staff and I think that's the part that everyone has the most difficulty accepting is the personal impact. We've got hundreds of staff at the NRL, many of them are just hard working men and women with families, children, mortgages and I had to look them all in the eye earlier this week too and it's a very unpleasant experience, but it's really the only choice we have and we're not the only industry in this country who are doing it.

"There are literally hundreds and hundreds of businesses facing the same challenge and rugby league is no different."

The NRL seemed desperate to continue amid the COVID-19 outbreak, before stricter travel measures in Australia saw it suspend its season.

Greenberg said the NRL would work to make sure it returns this year after productive talks with the Rugby League Players Association (RLPA).

"We are going to do everything we can to make sure there's rugby league in 2020 on the field, whether that comes in June, July, August or even as late as September and we play through to Christmas," he said.

"We've got to plan for each of those models and then we've got to also, most importantly, ensure the financial future of the game so that when we do come back, we've got enough money left and we can pay everyone accordingly.

"We've got to bunker down in this period, cut all our costs and that includes the players. We had some really good discussions with the players and all credit to [RLPA chief] Clint Newton and some of the senior players I spoke to yesterday, there wasn't one of those players who were concerned about their own financial future. The primary concern that came through on that call was what are we going to do about the players from numbers 20 to 30 and how do we make sure they stay afloat during this six-month period? And I've got to tell you it was a nice, warming thing to hear that the players have got a view about their colleagues."

Brisbane Broncos CEO Paul White acknowledged the coronavirus pandemic will threaten the existence of the club and the NRL altogether.

A decision was made on Monday to suspend the NRL indefinitely due to the spread of COVID-19, after authorities had attempted to keep going through the crisis.

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys acknowledged the situation opened NRL up to a "catastrophic" "financial crisis", with broadcast revenues reportedly worth up to AUD500million potentially on the line if the season is unable to resume.

Broncos chief White had been due to leave the club at the end of the season, but he is now contemplating staying to help steer them through circumstances that could be critical for even NRL's richest team.

"It is a really tough time for our industry. We are in a fight for our survival as a game, and for us as a club," said White, who along with head coach Anthony Seibold has already taken a pay cut. "We certainly want to be around for season 2021 and we are looking at all scenarios.

"The fortunate thing about our club is that we started planning and did some scenario testing for this probably four weeks ago. No one could have anticipated where this would start and finish and no one can now.

"At this point in time our club is in a strong position, bearing in mind that our business model is based on another 15 clubs participating and the NRL competition proceeding.

"But we have already taken some strong action and there will be more pain to come unfortunately for some wonderful people at our organisation.

"We want the competition to survive, so we are united as 16 clubs to take whatever measures are necessary for this competition to survive.

"I made the decision to make this year my last in the best interests of the club. If I believe that me remaining for a period of time is what this club needs and the board gives an indication that they may like to see that happen, I will make that decision at the time.

"But I am not going to tap out until I am satisfied that the club is back on its feet. I'm not giving you a definitive answer but I am not saying no [to staying] either."

New Zealand Warriors CEO Cameron George said he will ask the New Zealand government and NRL for financial support as the rugby league club face an uncertain future due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NRL suspended its season indefinitely on Monday amid the COVID-19 crisis, which has killed over 16,500 people globally.

Australia's rugby league competition had initially attempted to continue playing behind closed doors, with New Zealand-based side the Warriors staying in Australia.

But stricter travel measures across Australia forced the NRL to postpone the 2020 campaign, and George has pleaded for additional assistance to keep the Warriors viable.

"We've always had our challenges given our environment, our landscape, rugby union's strength here, but this is unprecedented for us," George told NRL.com.

"If sponsors walk away, members walk away, we're in the hole for millions and millions of dollars like every other club. But when you don't have that avid rugby league landscape around you, it's harder to pull it back.

"We can't sit around for months without playing. The challenge we have as opposed to others, I can tell you pretty sensibly that we're not going to have teams travelling to New Zealand this year.

"We'd lose all our home games. The international travel and border restrictions is something only we face. It will hammer us. It's hammering us now."

On whether the Warriors may need more assistance than their NRL rivals, George added: "Hopefully they look upon us a little bit differently, especially after the last couple of weeks. We'd hope for a little bit more to keep us going but who knows."

The Warriors stayed in New South Wales for almost two weeks as the NRL tried to keep its season alive, but the team are now en route back to New Zealand, where they are set to embark on 14 days of self-isolation.

"I don't have regrets. When I look back on how we handled it, it was important for me at all stages that I allowed the players to have ample time to discuss the options with their families," George told reporters on Tuesday.

"Everyone was armed with the right information to make the right decision. They always had our support, whichever way they went.

"When they decided to stay all-in and continue in the competition, I felt that was extremely courageous. I felt it was really sensible from their part and I felt that at all times, the players were putting the club and the fans first, with support from their families."

The NRL has suspended its season indefinitely amid the coronavirus pandemic, it was announced on Monday.

Despite being adamant it wanted to continue, the NRL confirmed it was stopping its campaign, having finished round two on Sunday.

Stricter travel measures across Australia led to the AFL suspending its season, while Queensland announced it was closing its borders from Wednesday, in a blow to the NRL.

"Due to the rapid rate of infection, we can no longer guarantee the safety of our players to continue to play," Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys said at a news conference on Monday.

"That's the paramount consideration in all our decision-making, is the safety and health of our players.

"Accordingly, we are suspending the season. We aren't going to put a time period to the suspension, we are going to look at every available option to us in the next week or so as to how we can recommence the season. All the options are still on the table."

NRL offices are now closed until May 1 and players have been told not to turn up to training on Tuesday.

"Our situation has changed dramatically," NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg added.

"We have made the unprecedented decision to suspend the 2020 season. It is indeed a deeply sad day but one of the most responsible days in our game's history.

"We would not have reached this point unless the conditions had shifted so dramatically and so exponentially."

The Warriors had committed to playing the rest of the season in Australia due to travel measures in New Zealand.

It means the A-League is the only sporting competition still going in Australia, with a game between the Newcastle Jets and Melbourne City scheduled for Monday.

The NRL intends to continue its season into round three despite the coronavirus pandemic, according to chief executive Todd Greenberg.

Officials are under growing pressure to suspend the campaign after the AFL, which sits alongside the NRL as Australia's two biggest competitions, opted to do so on Sunday.

But the NRL plans to continue its 2020 season despite the growth in coronavirus cases in Australia, amid concerns over its financial viability should games be stopped.

"I think that in community standards the virus is going to continue to get more difficult for us to combat so I think as a community and as a country it's going to get more difficult," Greenberg told Triple M on Monday.

"What that means for us I'm not sure, I think if we're realists what I said last week stands is that 2020 won't be a straight line, I think we're going to have some bumps in the road and I think we're going to get stopped occasionally from here and there.

"But in saying that we're not going to just roll over and just take it as it is at the moment, we're going to try and keep the games going.

"It's very important for a variety of reasons and also to make sure that we keep our industry afloat, so where we can play and where there's no good reason not to play, we're going to keep trying. That's certainly the position of both [Australian Rugby League Commission chairman] Peter V'landys and I as we stand here this morning."

Greenberg said the NRL had been "encouraged" by federal and state governments to continue playing, providing fans with a distraction amid uncertainty.

With round three scheduled to start on Thursday, Greenberg added further talks with government officials were due on Monday.

"We're going to keep trying. We haven't given up hope just yet," he said.

"Our circumstances we think are a little different to the AFL, although in saying that though we are going to take some advice today form both federal and state government and obviously our health experts and if we can continue to play, which is what our desire has been all the way along, then we will do so."

Cameron Munster has taken a playful dig at some of his "horny" Melbourne Storm team-mates by suggesting they would struggle to communicate if a ban on dating apps is imposed.

Players could reportedly be prevented from using platforms such as Tinder and Bumble under new NRL measures due to the coronavirus.

Five-eighth Munster thinks a lack of online interaction could cause a problem for certain younger members of the squad.

"It is interesting mate, we have some horny guys at our club," Munster told Sunday Night with Matty Johns.

"Cooper Johns, Tui Kamikamica and some other boys in our team.

"It will be interesting to see how those boys go around talking to other people because they don't really say too much.

"They are always on their phone gen Y. They will have to have some conversations with people now face-to-face. So it will be interesting to see how those guys go."

Chief executive Todd Greenberg on Sunday stated the NRL will continue unless the government calls for the season to be suspended.

Newcastle Knights and Parramatta Eels earned resounding wins as they both made it two victories from two in the NRL on Sunday.

Mitchell Pearce, playing in front of the Leichardt Oval hill renamed in honour of his father Wayne, was influential as the Knights ran out 42-24 winners on the road at West Tigers.

With matches played behind closed doors, eager Tigers fans sat on roofs and scaffolding but saw their side fall to defeat in a 12-try game.

Pearce's fine solo effort in the 63rd minute gave the Knights breathing space and he then played in Enari Tuala for his second try of the match.

Mitchell Barnett, Kurt Mann, Edrick Lee, Kalyn Ponga and Connor Watson also touched down for the Knights, while David Nofoaluma, Corey Thompson, Josh Reynolds and Luciano Leilua went over for the hosts.

The Eels were even more emphatic in their triumph at Gold Coast Titans as seven different players scored in a 46-6 hammering.

The luckless Titans were not helped by injuries to Dale Copley (ribs) and Tyrone Roberts (ankle), with Brian Kelly also needing a head injury assessment, but a series of errors proved their undoing.

Mitchell Moses was in fine form for the Eels - who top the infant NRL table ahead of the Knights - and scored the visitors' opening try before Reed Mahoney dotted down and Copley replied for the Titans in a breathless opening 15 minutes.

The floodgates opened after the break, though, Dylan Brown crossing twice and Kane Evans, Maika Sivo and Peni Terepo all scoring for the Eels, while Moses ended with a personal points haul of 22.

The NRL reaffirmed its commitment to continuing the 2020 season despite the coronavirus emergency, while Football Federation Australia (FFA) is prepared to make a "hard" decision over the A-League.

New South Wales and Victoria are among states in Australia planning to shut down non-essential services and travel over the next 48 hours amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Football League (AFL) – a popular sport in Australia – postponed its season on Sunday, following just one round of action behind closed doors.

But the NRL, which has started playing without fans in round two, does not intend on following in the footsteps of the AFL.

Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys said, "it was the Commission's intention to proceed with the competition until there is advice from government to shut down matches".

While coronavirus disrupts sport around the world, the A-League has also continued playing, albeit behind closed doors.

The FFA released a statement, with the country's football governing body set to provide a further update on Monday.

"The health and wellbeing of the players continues to remain our top priority and we will not be afraid to make decisions to ensure this, no matter how hard they might be," said FFA CEO James Johnson.

"We were very comfortable to take the initial decision to allow the Leagues to continue with additional measures in place and have worked through a number of scenarios to facilitate the completion of the A-League season. However, we remain under no illusions as to how fluid this situation is so we will remain agile and responsive to the challenges this pandemic brings. 

"We are continuously assessing our position based on the latest directives and advice from the Government and Chief Medical Officer, and in consultation with our National COVID-19 Working Committee.

"We are taking every precaution in line with Government advice and working closely with the League and clubs which have implemented additional measures to ensure players remain healthy and in good physical and mental condition.  Our priority is to ensure that this remains the case to give the clubs and players the best chance of achieving their sporting aspirations."

Globally, more than 13,000 people have died from at least 308,000 cases.

In Australia, there have been over 1,200 cases and at least seven deaths.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison does not believe a new travel ban will force the NRL and A-League seasons to end amid the coronavirus pandemic.

While COVID-19 disrupts sport across the globe, Australia's professional rugby league and football competitions have continued, albeit behind closed doors.

However, Australia's announcement against non-essential travel has thrown the NRL and A-League into fresh doubt, with Victoria and New South Wales reportedly among states set to close their borders within 48 hours.

Morrison, though, told a news conference on Sunday: "I would say not. It's not the end of sport.

"We will work closely with them about those arrangements. In terms of the NRL and the AFL [Australian Football League] and those types of arrangements, I think the principle is important.

"I'm sure we can work with both of those agencies with their respective states and CMOs [chief medical officers] at a federal level.

"If there are new arrangements that need to be put in place to protect the health and safety of everyone they may be possible but I'm not going to pre-empt those outcomes, but I'm sure we can work those issues through on a practical case by case basis."

In response to Morrison's announcement, Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys told Triple M: "We are prepared for the worst, and we have looked at every contingency. We're ready for whatever they throw at us.

"We've got a four-week window that we can work with during State of Origin. There is a bye round and a [split] round, and we can always extend the season. It just really depends when we have to pull the lever to suspend the season. The longer we can go the better it is."

Globally, more than 13,000 people have died from at least 308,000 cases.

In Australia, there have been over 1,200 cases and at least seven deaths.

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