The NRL have confirmed the competition will resume on May 28 after positive discussions with state premiers and broadcasters this week.
Project Apollo was tasked with developing a plan for returning the game. Head of the project, former NSW second rower and ARL commissioner Waye Pearce set May 28th as the return date two weeks ago.
NRL chairman Peter V’landys has worked tirelessly to get the competition to return on the set May 28thdate and it seems his efforts will be rewarded with confirmation of the return date last week by V’landys.
After support from the New South Wales government, Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuck turned down the NRL’s first plans to return the season. Palaszczuck this week however, accepted the NRL’s 40-page biosecurity plan to ensure the season can recommence on May 28.
With the season recommencement just under a month away, NRL clubs will return to training on Monday in preparation for the projected May 28 return.
The season will be reduced to 20 rounds with the Grand Final taking place on October 25, three weeks after the original set date of October 4.
The NRL also confirmed that the results from the first two rounds of the season, played before the postponement of the competition would stand.
For Easts affiliate, the Melbourne Storm. This will mean that their opening round victory against Manly and their second-round triumph against Cronulla would both remain sitting the club in fourth when the season re-commences.
A positive of the break for Melbourne will see the Storm return with a clean bill of health. Queensland forward Christian Welch managed just under a half of football on his return in Easts 44-4 round one victory against the CQ Capras, marking his first game back from off season knee surgery.
The only other injury concern for the Storm was Welch’s Easts aligned teammate Brandon Smith, who is currently quarantining in a Melbourne hotel after return from his home in New Zealand.
The hooker is slated to return from a facial injury sustained in the NRL All Stars game when the Storm play their round 3 match, with their opponent yet to be named due to a restructuring of the 2020 draw as a result of the new 20 round season.
Easts Tigers wish their affiliate side, The Melbourne Storm all the best for the season return.