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Cowboys coach Paul Green and Parramatta's Brad Arthur are the latest NRL clipboard carriers to be stood down with the NRL competition suspended, joining counterparts John Morris, Ivan Cleary, Dean Pay and Adam O'Brien on immediate annual leave.

Green and football manager Peter Parr are understood to be among the football and admin staff that North Queensland reluctantly sent home on two weeks paid leave amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel said the decision to operate with a skeleton staff until a return date for NRL games is known was made "with a heavy heart" to ensure the club’s survival of this unprecedented disruption".

"It was excruciatingly difficult to let our people know through no fault of their own and in spite of the incredible talent they share with our club on a daily basis, that their positions were stood down."

Parramatta made a similar move after phone hook-ups with players and staff, with Arthur to take unpaid leave until May 31 as football manager Mark O'Neill holds the fort.

Cronulla also reduced their club staff to a skeleton operation on Tuesday, with players sent home with the majority of the Sharks gym equipment to continue home training while in isolation.

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CEO Dino Mezzatesta is working without pay but the football staff, including Morris and his coaching assistants, have been told to take leave effective immediately.

Panthers head coach Ivan Cleary is already taking annual leave along with the rest of the club's players and staff, while recently retired stars Sam Burgess and Paul Gallen are among those let go at South Sydney and Cronulla respectively.

At Belmore Pay, his assistants Steve Georgallis and Steve Antonelli and football manager Steve Price were all stood down immediately as the forced closure of Canterbury Leagues Club took a devastating effect on the Bulldogs.

Pay is the only NRL coach coming off-contract in 2020, and like many in the game is unsure what the future holds for his club with the competition on hold.

"In the future it will all depend on when the game can get going again," Pay told Fox League on Wednesday.

"And it’ll all depend on what the game can look like then.

"We’ve got a number of staff that have been put off. But are we gonna have enough funds to put all those staff members back on? That’s what really worries me about it all.

"There’s still a lot of territory to cover here, it’s still pretty raw at the moment."

The Knights are understood to be standing down more 100 full-time staff including O'Brien and his football department, with those entitled to annual leave told to take it immediately. Staff without will be on leave without pay as CEO Phil Gardner assured employees their jobs remain a priority.

"Every club will be undergoing a cost-cutting exercise over this period of time ... the reality is everybody in the game will be taking a haircut," Gardner said on Tuesday.

"None of it has been easy, the majority of people are in shock."

The Dragons have cancelled training for the next two weeks after the playing group met on Wednesday, with Paul McGregor's 35-man top grade squad to work from personalised training programs in that period.

Melbourne will do the same with their players after giving them a month's break from team training, while Craig Bellamy's football staff and club employees will continue to work from home.  

Meanwhile, the NRL and RLPA released a joint statement after the opening day of their talks around how player salaries would be affected by the suspension of the competition, describing the talks as "aligned, productive and collaborative" and also saying they hoped to reach an agreement on player conditions by the end of the week.