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Timeline: The 66-day mission to relaunch NRL season

How the NRL Telstra Premiership season returned from a 10-week layoff due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

March 23: 2020 NRL season suspended indefinitely.

March 30: NRL agrees on recovery plan with clubs, guaranteeing $40m in monthly payments between April and October and 53 per cent cuts to operating costs, including 95 per cent reduction of staffing levels and 25 per cent cut in executive salaries.

April 3: Project Apollo innovation committee is formed with task of re-starting competition by June 1.

April 9: ARLC endorses Project Apollo proposal to resume Telstra Premiership on May 28.

April 12: Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk rules out NRL matches being played in the state.

April 14: Palaszczuk calls for State of Origin to be scrapped.

April 18: New Zealand Government gives Warriors permission to fly to Australia.

Key outs cause several teams to slide

April 20: Todd Greenberg resigns as NRL chief executive officer. Andrew Abdo is appointed interim NRL CEO.

April 27: Latrell Mitchell, Josh Addo-Carr and Tyrone Roberts-Davis revealed to have breached COVID-19 laws after weekend camping trip at Mitchell’s Taree property.

April 28: Nathan Cleary revealed to have breached COVID-19 laws on Anzac Day. Cleary, Mitchell, Addo-Carr and Roberts-Davis sanctioned by NRL.

April 29: Cleary faces further allegations after appearing in a Tik-Tok video.

May 1: PM Scott Morrison says National Cabinet would not stand in way of NRL resuming. Palaszczuk announces that Broncos, Cowboys and Titan can play and train in Queensland.

May 2: Border Force gives approval for the Warriors to fly from New Zealand to Tamworth and train in isolation.

Project Apollo's plans for crowds to return in July

May 3: Warriors arrive in Tamworth, which is turned into an international airport for one flight only. The Melbourne Storm relocate to Albury.

May 4: Clubs host briefings about biosecurity measures for players and staff. The Storm are forced to find alternative training venue after Albury Council votes 5-4 against them using council ground.

May 5: Players agree to 20 per cent pay-cut for 2020 season.

May 6: Players resume non-contact training in groups of 10 to comply with COVID-19 restrictions

May 11: Victorian Government clears the Storm to return to Melbourne for training and matches.

May 11: Cleary fined $30,000 and suspended for two matches; house-mate Tyrone May also fined and banned for one match for failing to co-operate with NRL integrity unit.

May 13: The ARLC introduces one referee for the remainder of the season and a new “six again” rule rather than a penalty for ruck infringements.

May 14: Storm resume training at AAMI Park.

May 15: Round three and four matches announced.

Could the shutdown put off Smith's swansong?

May 19: Bankwest Stadium, Campbelltown Stadium, Central Coast Stadium, Suncorp Stadium, QCB Stadium and AAMI Park announced as venues for first seven weeks of rebooted competition. Warriors relocated to Gosford.

May 21: Draw released for full 20-round competition, finals and State of Origin.

May 22: Professional Rugby League Match Officials union end industrial dispute over a decision to drop two referee model.

May 26: Teams for Round 3 named.

May 28: Season recommences with Broncos hosting Eels at Suncorp Stadium.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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