Rugby League Resumes in Australia After Months-Long Coronavirus Shutdown

Australia’s National Rugby League (NRL) resumed play for an empty stadium on Thursday, May 28, following a months-long suspension due to the coronavirus shutdown, according to reports.

The NRL said the league had been indefinitely suspended on March 23 due to COVID-19 safety measures. The league described Thursday’s event as “one of the most anticipated rugby league matches in the 112-year history of the code.”

The Parramatta Eels bested the Brisbane Broncos 34 to 6 at the debut match, held at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. This video, filmed from an indoor viewing box, shows players running across the field at Suncorp Stadium.

The NRL said it implemented several safety measures to resume play, such as using one on-field referee instead of two. One league official said he hopes to see crowds return to games as soon as July. Credit: Chris Honnery via Storyful