Players warned: keep out or pay the price
Enter a pub or nightclub and face a suspension or fine.
The NRL will this week put into place the most stringent rules for players and their life away from the field in the game's more-than-100-year history.
Among the banned list for players is expected to include:
- Any bar, nightclub or pub
- Movie theatres
- Visiting anyone who has been overseas
- Crowded places such as shopping centres
- School and promotional visits
Essentially, players will be told to train and go home - only venturing away from that structure for life-essential trips such as filling up the car with petrol - and use a "common sense" approach to protecting their health.
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The extraordinary measures comes as the game continues to try and safeguard itself from the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
ARLC chairman Peter V'landys told The Sunday Telegraph that drastic steps had to be taken to ensure the game continues to be played for the financially viability of the code.
"You're not only putting yourself at risk, you're putting your family at risk, you're putting your fellow players at risk and you're putting the game at risk," V'Landys said of players who flaunt the rules.
"It's pretty easy to work out that you need to be part of the team to beat this.
"We want people to be part of the team. If you want to be in the rugby league family, you have to do this."
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Discussions between the game's governing body, senior players and the Rugby League Players Association about the self-isolation program are continuing. The new measures could be brought into effect as early as Monday.
Clubs will be asked to police the measures and they, too, could face heavy fines if their players do not comply with the directive.
The NRL has already implemented a wide range of protocols to protect its players, including locking out fans from matches, chartering private planes for travelling clubs, widespread testing for the virus and telling players not to shake hands after games.
Despite the disastrous implications if a player tests positive to COVID-19, South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett said it was unrealistic for the players to be in total lockdown.
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"I'm just not sure totally about the self-isolation," Bennett said. "We have to go shopping. We have to do things.
"It's probably not the right word to use - in isolation (or to think) there's no one around us all the time because there are.
"I get what they're at, but I wouldn't call it just totally self-isolation. I mean, if I've got to go to the shops tomorrow and buy something I'm going to go to the shops, that's what's going to happen."
"That's something we can control but they are young men. I'm not going to be the policeman on it. They've been told what the ramifications are and I think they've all been pretty well behaved, that's not the issue.
"But I don't know if sitting at home all weekend if they're all going to do that. I couldn't guarantee you that."
Originally published as Players warned: keep out or pay the price