Dutton to talk to V'landys over NRL return

ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys is set to talk with Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on Thursday to discuss the anticipated return of the NRL.

One month after suspending its season because of the coronavirus pandemic, the league on Wednesday reaffirmed its commitment to get back on the field on May 28.

Among the challenges for officials are the New Zealand-based Warriors, who will need an exemption from the Australian Border Force to arrive in the country.

"We're in discussions with the NRL at the moment," Dutton said on 2GB radio on Thursday.

"I'll have a chat with Peter V'landys again later today.

"The Border Force commissioner has discretion to allow people in.

"He has allowed a number of people in on compassionate grounds and other considerations around work and people with expertise coming in.

"There's been certain exemptions as I understand but for many, that request has been rejected.

"We just need to look at what is reasonable in the circumstance."

New Zealand is in Alert Level 4 lockdown but has already announced that restrictions will be eased on Monday, allowing people to return to work.

Dutton described the country as low risk, however, any visitors would be forced into a mandatory two-week isolation period.

The NRL is investigating whether the Warriors will be permitted to train together while in isolation, possibly in Lennox Head on the NSW far north coast.

"Obviously New Zealand is a very low-risk country for us, given the very low numbers of cases," Dutton said.

"People would have to go into quarantine in accordance with the state jurisdiction, department of health requirements.

"The Warriors would come into NSW or wherever it was, Queensland, they would have to go through the two weeks isolation as would be the case for anybody."

The travel restrictions could force the Warriors to relocate in Australia for months.

The club has yet to officially confirm the move, demanding answers from the league on the length of the season and how much players would be remunerated.

V'landys continues to be in talks with the NRL's broadcasters over the details of the restructured season and, more importantly, how much income that will generate.

It is hoped the discussions will be finalised by the end of the week, with all 16 teams expected to resume squad training on May 4.

Dutton said that while the league competition's return remains complex, it would prove to be a key milestone in allowing the wider community to emerge from isolation.

"Getting the NRL up and started is an important part of the next steps we take to normalise and return to the way we knew life only a few months ago," he said.