NRL Press Conference
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 03: Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'landys speaks to the media during a NRL press conference at Rugby League Central on September 03, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The NRL and Rugby League Players Association have reportedly held meetings over the current coronavirus situation and any restrictions being placed on players.

Players were forced into Level 1 restrictions over the Christmas and New Year break, stopping them from going into indoor venues.

It's understood most clubs have felt some level of impact from coronavirus, forcing players and staff to isolate and recover from the illness during the first week back at training.

Some clubs haven't had enough players to train at full capacity, with the Canterbury Bulldogs cancelling training on Wednesday and adding Saturday to their weekly program with more players back from isolation by then.

The St George Illawarra Dragons also have a dozen players sitting in isolation throughout this week, while the Brisbane Broncos have been severely impacted. Jordan McLean also mentioned that the North Queensland Cowboys have about ten players out, but that they are "doing better than Sydney clubs."

It's understood no club has avoided the wrath of COVID, however, that didn't stop players from being upset when they learnt about new restrictions.

Many took to social media to question why restrictions were needed if they were vaccinated, and it's forced the RLPA to intervene, meeting with the NRL on Monday evening, according to The Daily Telegraph.

According to the publication, head of the RLPA Clint Newton said the meetings were "productive," while also saying it would be impossible to stop COVID from infiltrating the sport.

“What the key problem and concerns for us was the restrictions to be placed on players was over and above what the state requirements are,” Newton said.

“In past two years, we’ve operated over and above what community expectations were but that was when Covid was at a low transmission rate.

“We’re in a situation now where hundreds of thousands of people are infected with Covid, either with symptoms or are asymptomatic.

“Trying to stop Covid coming into rugby league, will be like me trying to stop an avalanche with a leaf blower.

“You’re not going to stop it so we’re going to have to work to live with it and the best way to do that, is to allow now more than ever, players to live under no restrictions other than state requirements.”

It's understood players are prepared for increased testing and requirements to travel, however, they will draw the line at going back into a bubble for a third straight season.

It's unclear if the meetings ended with any new plans set in stone, with the NRL yet to make an official announcement.

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