Melbourne Storm stars will be temperature checked up to three times on game days as the NRL shoots for May 28 resumption. Picture: Brett Costello
Melbourne Storm stars will be temperature checked up to three times on game days as the NRL shoots for May 28 resumption. Picture: Brett Costello

Blueprint for Melbourne to Storm the border

NRL stars will be temperature checked up to three times on game days, as confidence of realising the mooted May 28 restart grows.

Melbourne Storm expects the NRL to unveil its full biosecurity blueprint this week.

The complication for Storm is not being able to train together in Victoria.

The club must consider relocating across the border to New South Wales where state government COVID-19 guidelines allow NRL teams to train under strict biosecurity protocols.

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Storm boss Dave Donaghy reiterated the health and wellbeing of players, staff and the wider community was paramount.

"For example, if we were to go to Albury or go to another border town, or go to Sydney, or some other part of New South Wales they wouldn't even know we were there," Donaghy said.

"You'd have to be isolated away, and conduct yourself in a way the guidelines will be set. I expect those will be even more stringent than those set by the government."

Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy says he is confident the Storm can get back on the park with the rest of the NRL. Picture: AAP
Melbourne Storm CEO Dave Donaghy says he is confident the Storm can get back on the park with the rest of the NRL. Picture: AAP

Donaghy backed Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys to navigate the complex and unprecedented circumstances, potentially drawing on his experience as Racing NSW chief.

Racing has been able to continue through the pandemic Australia-wide, bar Tasmania, which only pulled the plug last week, adhering to the strictest of protocols.

"He's a force of nature that guy. He's motivated and committed to getting the NRL back up and running and certainly taking a different approach and different route to the AFL," Donaghy said.

"You can't fault his effort and passion … we've just got to make sure we dot the Is and cross the Ts and it protects the health of our players and staff, but also is in line with community expectations."

The NRL hopes the Victorian government, in time, will implement guidelines that allow professional teams to train in groups, a provision the AFL would also need to resuscitate its season.

Donaghy backed NRL chairman Peter V'landys lead the sport through the coronavirus crisis. Picture: AAP
Donaghy backed NRL chairman Peter V'landys lead the sport through the coronavirus crisis. Picture: AAP

Storm has briefed all players on the state of play and remains optimistic about the game's resumption.

"We're in the business of selling hope and hopefully we can get back to that once we get through this Easter period and we can keep winning the battle against coronavirus," Donaghy said.

"I won't ask them (players) to do something that I wouldn't do.

"I know there was talk of a four-or-five-month bubble … for me that was a bridge too far.

Active COVID-19 Cases in VIC

Source: Vic DHSS

"If we can get to a point where pre-season starts (May 1) … we should be able to, touchwood, stay in our cities (and) train in our facilities … and then really it's a fly-in fly-out proposition."

The NRL deployed charter flights for interstate teams to complete Round 2 before the shutdown and Storm hopes a similar model will be put in place for the eventual resumption.

"I don't think the interstate teams should be disadvantaged either logistically or financially by something so far out of our control," Donaghy said.



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