TOWNSVILLE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 09: (L-R) Brian To'o of the Blues, Jerome Luai of the Blues and Nathan Cleary of the Blues pose after winning game one of the 2021 State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on June 09, 2021 in Townsville, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

The New South Wales Blues have taken drastic measures in an attempt to protect players from COVID, cancelling their pre-season camp.

The Blues have run a pre-season camp for around 30 players during most recent years, allowing them to train under the watchful eye of coach Brad Fittler and his staff, led by assistant Paul McGregor.

However, that camp, which was set to begin on February 3 at the Sydney Olympic Park precinct, where New South Wales has a centre of excellence, has now been cancelled by the NSWRL.

“NSWRL has shown an abundance of caution given the current Covid volatile environment,” Fittler said.

“Player safety comes first and given the players will be coming from a number of different clubs, we believe this is the most responsible decision to make for all concerned.”

The news of the NSWRL cancelling the camp comes hot on the heels of NRL clubs reportedly being set to express concerns around the All Stars game in February when they have a conference call with NRL head office this Friday.

Teams are reportedly worried about losing more of their pre-season and players potentially contracting the virus while in All Stars camp.

The camp being cancelled is a blow to the NSWRL, who have won three of the last four Origin series, including taking the first two games of the 2021 series by a record margin despite all three games eventually being played in Queensland thanks to COVID and the eventual relocation of the entire competition to the south east corner of the state.