Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell flouting social distancing rules during a trip to Taree.
Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell flouting social distancing rules during a trip to Taree.

Responsibility falls now on the shoulders of the players

CONGRATULATIONS to the NRL and the Australian Rugby League Commission for their strength and strategic decision to return to the field of play later this month.

Chairman Peter V'landys and his fellow commissioners read the situation correctly and it appears likely that the NRL will be the first major international sport to return.

The decision was bold and aggressive during uncertain times and the reward will be a greater opportunity to showcase league to the world.

With four weeks until the season resumes it is now up to the players to play their part and follow the strict protocols that the NRL have produced.

I have serious concerns that one or more players will not follow what is required and jeopardise the entire competition.

For many years we have witnessed players showing a sense of entitlement, seeming to believe that laws and morals did not necessarily apply to them.

Last week was a prime example with Josh Ado Carr, Latrell Mitchell, Tyronne Roberts- Davis and Nathan Cleary breaching the isolation laws in place to protect the community during the coronavirus pandemic.

I don't know what else the NRL or clubs can do to get through to some of the players that they need to behave.

They have been warned by state and federal governments that one more slip-up and they will shut down the season.

I have my fingers crossed that the message has sunk in, because not only will they jeopardise their own remaining salary for the year but that of the 700 players, support staff and hundreds of other jobs of people.

The players are in a position where they can be part of a historic time for rugby league and I hope they rise to that challenge.