When the NRL returns on May 28, it will be for a 20-round season, with the league reaching an agreement with broadcast partners Nine and Fox Sports on key dates and the structure of the draw.
The agreement means that the 2020 NRL Grand Final will be played on October 25 – three weeks later than it was originally scheduled.
As expected, the first two rounds of the season that have been completed will be counted, and the current ladder will remain in place when the season resumes.
The NRL will determine the full fixture for the remainder of the season in the coming weeks, including the date for the State of Origin series.
The agreement was reached between the NRL and its broadcast partners after a lengthy period of negotiations, and ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys thanked Nine CEO Hugh Marks and Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany for their continued support.
“Today is a landmark day for rugby league in 2020,” he said in a statement.
“This is a great outcome for our players, fans, partners and stakeholders and I’m extremely appreciative for the cooperation and support from Hugh Marks and Patrick Delany.
“Both have always acted in good-spirit and have demonstrated how partners work together.”
Training will commence for all 16 clubs on May 4, with every NRL club to be subject to the league’s stringent biosecurity measures.
After receiving government exemption, the New Zealand Warriors will fly in to Australia on Sunday and will serve their 14-day quarantine period in Tamworth ahead of the season.
The announcement of the NRL’s Grand Final date means that the finals series will overlap with the T20 World Cup, which is currently scheduled to start on October 18.
Australia is slated to open its World Cup campaign with a clash against Pakistan the day before the NRL Grand Final, with New Zealand taking on the West Indies on Grand Final day.
Despite the NRL announcing its date for the 2020 Grand Final, the venue is still yet to be determined, given the overlap with the T20 World Cup.