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New NRL world: Players pay deal kicks off training in COVID-19 times

The NRL's new biosecurity measures, and how clubs enforce them, will go under the microscope on Wednesday with the RLPA confirming players will accept a 20 per cent pay cut and return to training.

Top tier squads from across the NRL will take to the training paddock for the first time in six weeks under strict game-wide protocols, with each club's NRL liaison officer on duty for the return of players.

As broadcast negotiations continue around the revenue structure of a rescheduled season, the NRL and RLPA have agreed players will be guaranteed 80% of their wages for 2020.

ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys described the players return to training as a "momentous landmark" in the return of elite rugby league, predicting unprecedented interest in the game.

"It is full steam ahead for the resumption of the competition on May 28," V'landys said, paying tribute to the players' commitment to get the competition back under way.

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"All eyes will be on the NRL as the only live sport on television. There will never have been more interest in rugby league than on May 28.

“We said from the start we are all in this together and our players have proved that. Many of them are making significant sacrifices for the competition to re-start and that is not lost on anyone."

The RLPA said players are "working through individual circumstances of players" in regards to living and personal arrangements ahead of Wednesday's return to training duties.

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Canterbury have confirmed at least one player, believed to be winger Marcelo Montoya, will move out of his family home given his mother works on the coronavirus frontline at an aged care facility.

Teams will begin training sessions under a strict no-contact policy before a return to tackling and wrestling drills as normal from next week.

Most clubs are expected to conduct gruelling fitness and conditioning tests to gauge their players' workloads during their six-week hiatus.

Players will also adjust to their new normal as far as a working environment goes, with temperature testing, shoe-changing, movement tracking and social distancing all to be monitored by the NRL-appointed liaisons.

The NRL's Project Apollo committee is due to meet again on Friday to analysis the game's first week under new protocols and work on the NRL's next return-to-play target, the details of its 20-round draw.

RLPA chief executive Clint Newton hailed the collaborative process between the players and NRL that has brought the game back on several fronts across remuneration, health, safety and wellbeing.

"We worked through arguably the fastest and most collaborative process in the game's history to secure clarity and clear direction for the industry and our members,'' Newton said.

"We set a new standard which should become the hallmark for our industry which will give us the best chance to build a more sustainable and solid foundation for the game's future."

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