The NRL will begin planning to potentially resume the competition by July 1, with rugby league great Wayne Pearce to head up a sub-committee to brainstorm all options to play games safely during the coronavirus crisis.
On Monday night, Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys told Fox League he was confident of resuming the competition in just three months, with all options on the table to meet that deadline.
That includes sending the entire competition to a facility in Gladstone under lockdown conditions, playing all games at the one ground.
Pearce, who is an ARLC commissioner, will be tasked with generating various possibilities to resume the competition as soon as possible.
"Wayne Pearce is a very sharp mind, he's a can-do person and he also thinks outside the square, so there's going to be various options we can look at and, hopefully, one of those options will come to fruition," V'landys said.
"He, like me, thinks July 1 is achievable and, if it's possible to achieve an earlier date, we will.
"The sooner we can get the games going, the sooner we can get the revenues back, the sooner we can pay the players more and also staff that rely on the rugby league can all come back."
With new coronavirus cases in Australia starting to drop, should the infection rate continue to flatten over the next few weeks, V'landys said he saw no reason the game could not return on July 1.
That decision would need to be made in June to allow clubs at least three weeks to begin a mini pre-season in preparation for round three.
Australian Associated Press