Melbourne Storm captain Cameron Smith has called on the NRL to be temporarily suspended in light of the global coronavirus pandemic.
NRL CEO Todd Greenberg has already announced that round two games will be played behind closed doors after the Australian government banned gatherings of more than 500 people.
Australia have reported over 250 confirmed cased of COVID-19, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has ordered a 14 day period of self-isolation for anyone entering the country.
The New Zealand Warriors will be based in Gold Coast next week to combat these restrictions.
Australian international smith says it makes sense for the competition to be put on hold in order to ensure the safety of players, coaches and spectators.
He told NRL.com: “If we make a decision to suspend the comp for a couple of weeks then I think it just gives everyone an opportunity to actually sum up the situation a little bit better rather than being reactive daily or hourly.
“We want to be playing rugby league. We’d love to be playing. But this is a serious thing that’s happening at the moment.
“I’m really confident with the measures we’re taking as a club, particularly from our CEO Dave Donaghy and our doctor to minimise the risk around our organisation and anyone getting the virus or being around large crowds.
“We’re travelling virtually every second week of the competition so we’re going to be exposed to airports, air travel and large crowds a lot.
“So there is a major concern there. Our players aren’t concerned about themselves, they’re concerned about their families.”
Despite this, Smith insists he will continue to play for the Storm until instructed otherwise by the sport’s government body.
Speaking after their 18-4 win over Manly, he continued: “Going into round two, there’s no crowds so we’re not going to be around large crowds. So I’m comfortable with where things are at at the moment.
“If I wasn’t comfortable I wouldn’t have come up this weekend and the rest of the players wouldn’t have come up either. But this thing changes all the time.”