NRL Chairman Peter V’Landys is confident that after an interrupted 2020 season, the competition will return to its “normal” full season in 2021.
Speaking to Andrew Voss on 1170 SEN Breakfast, V’landys believes that the NRL is now in a position to return the league to a form of normality.
“We’re going to go back to normal next season,” V’landys said.
“We’ve experienced COVID, we know how to handle COVID, and I don’t think the protocols will be as strict (in 2021).
“As you said earlier, there’s now a possibility of a vaccine, and that changes the whole thing completely.
“If the vaccine doesn’t come through and we have to live through COVID, it all depends on the community infections, and we always base our decisions on the data.
“In Australia, we’re very lucky that community infections are zero, and while they’re zero, we can live our lives pretty normally.
“However, if there is an outbreak of community transmission, we’ll need to increase our protocols again.
“But we’ve been through the worst of COVID in Australia with the protocols, and we’ve proven we can play while COVID’s there, and with community infections.
”I think we’re pretty right for next year, with the learnings of this year. That we can run the whole season and go back to normal.
V’landys praised the competition's players for their participation and sacrifice in 2020, and believes that next seasons bubble won’t be as strict if it is to exist.
“The players are out of the bubble at the moment, they’ve sacrificed a lot this year and they’re having a well-earned holiday for the next few weeks,” V’landys added.
“I don’t think the protocols will be as strict, with community infections being lower than they were throughout this year.”
The full chat with the NRL Chairman can be found at the audio player below.