ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys says a decision on the 2020 season length will be made on Friday following meetings with broadcasters Nine and Foxtel.
V'landys will meet with respective Nine CEO Hugh Marks and Fox Sports boss Patrick Delany and said he wanted to end the "procrastination" to keep the NRL’s proposed May 28 return target date on track.
A season length of up to 22 rounds is understood to be one of the options on the table, but V’landys conceded the broadcasters are yet to align on how long play pushes on into 2020.
"Today is D-Day for me. A decision will be made as to the length of the season between the two broadcasters," he told Channel Nine’s Today Show on Friday.
"We will meet our contractual obligations to the broadcasters but a decision has to be made.
"I think the procrastination has been taking long enough and a decision will be made today."
V’landys said the NRL had looked at all the biosecurity advice and pointed to the fact the COVID-19 infection rate in NSW had been less than 1% for the past fortnight.
"We are confident that it’s safe. The risk is minimal to zero so why shouldn’t we start playing?
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"[May 28] is not premature at all.
"We have looked at all the data, we have done enormous research, we are going to put enormous biosecurity measures in place to protect our players."
Under the Project Apollo innovations committee's recommendations, all NRL squads would return to training on May 4, with the Warriors still requiring government exemptions for the side to travel and train together while observing a 14-day quarantine period on arrival in Australia.
Project Apollo was due to meet on Friday but that will now reconvene next week.
V'landys is slated for involvement in discussions around the Warriors movements with Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton, and said "we are applying to governments and will continue to do so".
As reported by NRL.com two weeks ago, the RLPA says its members are willing to play deep into summer to fit as many games in as possible and fulfil the NRL's obligations to broadcasters.
Should the proposed May 28 restart date go ahead, a 15 or 17-round season (including the two rounds played before COVID-19 halted play) would theoretically result in the grand final being played in its traditional early-October time slot following a regular top-eight finals format.
A season of greater length would push play towards and potentially into mid-November.
That would mean the turnaround between the end of the 2020 campaign and the start of the 2021 season would be affected, though it's understood the RLPA is willing to negotiate around mandatory player leave periods.
Once a rescheduled 2020 draw is finalised, the scheduling for State of Origin will also become clearer, with the prospect of a mid-season July series or post-grand final representative period among the options.
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A post-season Origin series would present the best chance of crowds attending the blue-chip fixtures, though concerns have been raised over the prospect of player burnout at the end of an unprecedented season.
"I think you would suggest based on historical behaviour of the players, it doesn't matter when [Origin] is," RLPA chief Clint Newton said on Thursday.
"They will be up for it.
"That will be all part of the discussions with broadcasters about trying to maximise revenue and trying to maximise the chance for fans to participate in that.
"Playing 22 rounds and an Origin series and finals and Test matches is something players are all wanting to achieve.
"But again it's going to come down to desires from broadcasters."