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Raiders fans in the crowd - 21 APRIL 2017 - Australian National Rugby League (NRL) Round 8 - Canberra Raiders vs Manly Warringah sea Eagles. Match was played on a Friday evening at GIO Stadium

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) today announced it has given approval to allow clubs to return to their standard home venues in Round 8 of the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership.

The decision to end phase one of the National Rugby League’s (NRL) consolidated venue strategy means clubs will be allowed to play at their venue of choice from July 2, 2020 with capped crowds in NSW and Queensland and applications under consideration in Victoria and the ACT.

Crowds will be permitted at games in NSW, from Round 8 which commences on July 2, provided they are capped at the lesser of 25% of capacity or 10,000 fans.

The Queensland Government will finalise crowd restrictions after a trial of crowds of up to 2000 this weekend.  

ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys AM said the decision to allow Clubs to return to their traditional home grounds from Round 8 followed the accelerated return to crowds approval by government and health authorities.

Mr V’landys described the decision as another milestone moment in the game’s return from COVID-19 and a tremendous win for fans.

“This is an outstanding outcome for our clubs, our players and importantly our fans who have been so loyal, and patient, throughout this crisis,” he said.

“Our fans are everything and the opportunity to have them back in their home ground stands, is the greatest reward of all for their unwavering passion. I cannot wait to see and hear the return of that tribalism which makes rugby league so special.

“I also want to thank the State and Federal Governments for their ongoing assistance and to the Queensland government for allowing crowds of up to 2000, that’s a great result for Queensland fans.”

Mr V’landys said the return to home grounds would happen under continued tight protocols to protect crowd safety and that each venue would be required to have a COVID-safe plan in place.