‘I think it’s a bit ambitious’: sports minister hoses down NRL return

The NRL is under mounting pressure from governments to delay its season return after federal sports minister Richard Colbeck described a May resumption as "ambitious".

A day after Australia's chief medical officer Professor Brendan Murphy labelled the NRL's proposed May 28 relaunch as "premature", Senator Colbeck also cast doubt on rugby league's plan amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Sports Minister Richard Colbeck.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys and NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg are set for crunch talks with broadcast rights holders Nine, the publisher of this masthead, and Foxtel this week.

They will debate the TV deals and format of the competition for the rest of the season.

The NRL insists it has a letter from NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller which grants it approval to resume playing matches.

It is drawing up detailed biosecurity plans this week and is expected to show them to the state government once complete.

NSW deputy premier John Barilaro last week described the NRL's return as “the tonic we need to get through the virus”.

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