Josh Papalii runs the ball for Queensland during State of Origin Game One at Adelaide Oval. Picture: Brett Costello
Josh Papalii runs the ball for Queensland during State of Origin Game One at Adelaide Oval. Picture: Brett Costello

V’landys reveals bold plan for 2021 NRL season

He got the footy back in 2020 - now Peter V'landys is about to launch a new mission.

The ARLC Chairman has declared he wants to burst the bubble on every player, admitting the NRL was working on a plan to get back to "normal next season".

V'landys has also confirmed that the future of State of Origin matches being played in November was highly unlikely and that the annual interstate series would return to its normal mid-season schedule.

"More likely than not that this (State of Origin series) will be the one and only time (in November) because the ratings weren't very good last week," V'landys said.

"I know there's been a few excuses and we'll see if those excuses are credible come Wednesday night when it's a live rubber.

"And I think one of the reasons why the ratings were down was that no one gave Queensland a chance, but anyone that follows rugby league, you always give Queensland a chance and they proved that again.

"Next year is a different story and if we're able to have crowds, mid-season is probably the right place but let's just see what happens tomorrow night.

"If the ratings are substantial then we can make an informed decision.''

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Within the game, clubs and players are working towards another season of bubble restrictions and isolation periods.

But never one to shy away from a challenge, V'Landys stated his confidence that after an interrupted 2020 season, the competition would return to its "normal" full season in 2021.

"We're going to go back to normal next season," V'landys told Andrew Voss on SEN radio on Tuesday morning.

"We've experienced COVID, we know how to handle COVID, and I don't think the protocols will be as strict (in 2021).

"As you said earlier, there's now a possibility of a vaccine, and that changes the whole thing completely.

"If the vaccine doesn't come through and we have to live through COVID, it all depends on the community infections, and we always base our decisions on the data.

"In Australia, we're very lucky that community infections are zero, and while they're zero, we can live our lives pretty normally.

 

State of Origin is set to return to mid-season scheduling in 2021. Picture: Brett Costello
State of Origin is set to return to mid-season scheduling in 2021. Picture: Brett Costello

 

"However, if there is an outbreak of community transmission, we'll need to increase our protocols again.

"But we've been through the worst of COVID in Australia with the protocols, and we've proven we can play while COVID's there, and with community infections.

"I think we're pretty right for next year, with the learnings of this year. That we can run the whole season and go back to normal.

V'landys praised the competition's players for their participation and sacrifice in 2020, and believed that next season's bubble wouldn't be as strict if it was to exist.

"The players are out of the bubble at the moment, they've sacrificed a lot this year and they're having a well-earned holiday for the next few weeks," V'landys added.

"I don't think the protocols will be as strict, with community infections being lower than they were throughout this year."

Originally published as V'landys reveals bold plan for 2021 NRL season



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