The government has cleared the NRL for take-off on May 28 while sending a stern warning to the game not to blow it’s chance.
The government has cleared the NRL for take-off on May 28 while sending a stern warning to the game not to blow it’s chance.

NSW-Queensland border will open for NRL on one condition

The Queensland government has cleared the NRL for take-off on May 28 but has warned the game to not blow its chance with another scandal.

The Courier-Mail can reveal Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has backed the Project Apollo program and the Sunshine State's borders will be opened for NRL travel.

Queensland government authorities informed ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys of the Premier's decision on Friday afternoon.

But there is one condition - if the NRL suffers another breach of COVID-19 guidelines the Queensland government will slam the door on the game.

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has agreed to open the border the NRL. Picture by Steve Pohlner.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has agreed to open the border the NRL. Picture by Steve Pohlner.

The Premier said she, in conjunction with Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, would approve Project Apollo but wanted assurances the NRL could police strict home-quarantine arrangements for players.

"We love our game - but not at the risk of spreading COVID-19," Palaszczuk said.

"The Chief Health Officer says the NRL plan is workable but we will need those assurances."

The decision is also a massive win for Queensland's three NRL teams - the Broncos, Cowboys and Titans - who will not be forced to relocate to NSW for the resumption of the NRL competition.

The support of the Queensland government was seen as a critical hurdle the NRL needed to clear to meet their May 28 kick-off objective without the major disruption of displacing the Broncos, Titans and Cowboys.

Now the coast is clear, with V'landys praising Palaszczuk's support after the Queensland Premier was satisfied with the NRL's 40-page biosecurity proposal.

Vlandys has pledged not to let Queensland down. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.
Vlandys has pledged not to let Queensland down. Photo by Matt King/Getty Images.

"We won't let the Queensland Premier down," V'landys said.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic, everything is falling into place.

"I can't express enough our appreciation to the Queensland Government. I have great respect for the Premier and it is a tribute to her strong leadership that she has kept an open mind through this process.

"The Queensland government has done a great job containing the virus and we are now well on track for a May 28 kick-off."

Palaszczuk, however, will not allow the NRL to be complacent on player behaviour.

The Premier is concerned about the recent scandals involving Josh Addo-Carr, Nathan Cleary and Latrell Mitchell and will not tolerate one more moment of madness by NRL players.

V'landys assured the Queensland government the NRL will not tolerate another slip-up.

"It won't happen again," he said.

"The players will be given our full biosecurity plan in the coming days and with the education they will be given, I have faith in them to follow the rules.

"I'm sure the players realise they cannot stuff up again and the repercussions if they do."

The players will be educated on the NRL's new protocols when they report at their clubs on Monday.

 

Originally published as Queensland will open border for NRL on one condition


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