ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys speaks to the media in Sydney, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)
ARLC Chairman Peter V'landys speaks to the media in Sydney, Sunday, March 15, 2020. (AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Strong leadership delivered when needed most

OPINION: The decision by the NRL to forge ahead with a May 28 restart date for the competition has certainly created vigorous discussion.

People are in two camps, with some believing it should not go ahead due to social distancing while others who crave sport are hoping they have something to watch.

It is certainly uncharted waters for rugby league and sport as all codes struggle with how to adapt to the Covid-19 ­pandemic.

I don't want to comment on the rights and wrongs of sport going ahead while the community are instructed to stay isolated.

However, I do want to comment on the outstanding leadership of Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys during the past few weeks.

It has been refreshing to watch a sports administrator be open, honest and engaging the community in the ­decision-making process.

It is no secret that the NRL has not been run in a cost- ­effective manner over the past few years and that it will not survive the pandemic if it is business as usual.

To watch an administrator be upfront with his plan forreigniting the game inspires confidence in rugby league's future.

Also a leading racing administrator, V'landys had to navigate through the equine flu medical crisis in 2007 and learnt a lot from that ­experience.

I don't know if the competition will start on May 28 - as the landscape changes daily or hourly and we are in a state of flux as we adapt to the pandemic - but while the future of the sport and everyday life is in a state of flux, the NRL is fortunate to have V'landys at the helm.

There has never been a time when the NRL has needed a strong and innovative leader more than now.