NRL stars come crashing back to reality
NRL players have come crashing back to reality as they scour the job market after coronavirus brought the season to a halt.
League bosses suspended this year's campaign after two rounds, following the lead of sports competitions around the world who have been forced to hit pause.
The NRL has said June is the earliest the season can resume, but if it can't get going again by September 1, then it will likely be called off for good.
Players are facing mammoth pay cuts as the game tries to cope with the catastrophic financial fallout of being on hiatus, leading some to try and find jobs away from the footy field.
Roosters coach Trent Robinson told Triple M some of his troops are "looking for jobs", including forward Victor Radley, who is "back on the tools".
"Some of them have been going out, some are on the tools already Friday morning before they came in and saw us to pick up some gear," Robinson said.
"Plumber, builder, yeah there are a lot of jobs that have been thrown out by the guys.
"They're still continuing to look for some.
"They know that they are going to have their time to train but after that they are starting to look to get back into some of their trades.
"(Victor Radley) will be listening, he's on the tools."
Brisbane prop Thomas Flegler is adjusting to life away from the bright lights of the NRL. On a deal worth $200,000 a year, the 20-year-old is now earning $24.60 an hour as a banana farmer, as reported by the Courier Mail .
The Broncos squad has been told to take a month's annual leave and Flegler has wasted no time heading to his family's farm in Tully in the far north of sunshine state.
"I can't really do much in Brisbane so I decided I would get home to see my family and try and make some money while we aren't playing," Flegler told The Sunday Mail.
"I start work on Monday. I'm on the minimum wage. Dad said you are only a beginner, so you aren't worth more than the award wage."
Elsewhere, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy, chief executive Dave Donaghy and the Storm football department will take 50 per cent pay cuts to help the club through the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.
While Storm CEO Donaghy spoke this week of his belief the club would be able to ride through the competition postponement, it is not immune. Donaghy confirmed on Saturday the Melbourne club had been forced to stand down about 20 members of staff, with a number coming from the football department.
NRL TO PRESENT RESCUE PACKAGE
The NRL will present a revised payment schedule for players and clubs on Monday, with the viability of State of Origin and cuts to match payments to follow once the first level of certainty is achieved.
At a meeting with all 16 clubs, ARLC chairman Peter V'landys will present his plan to slash costs from NRL headquarters in a move expected to hand players an additional $7 million for this year.
The Rugby League Players' Association has been negotiating with the NRL for wage cuts to keep the game alive through the toughest financial challenge it has ever faced.
A model for an 87 per cent drop in wages for the coming months due to the coronavirus suspension has already been presented, based on a worst-case scenario.
However, the rescue package to be presented by V'landys at Monday's meeting is set to take the original offer of $12.4 million for players for the rest of the season up to around $20 million.
Originally published as NRL stars come crashing back to reality