Bubble boy: Cook prepared to do ‘what needs to be done’ to save NRL season

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It has been strongly opposed by Cameron Smith but South Sydney hooker Damien Cook has backed a plan for players to live in a “bubble” in a bid to resume the NRL competition.

The game’s innovation committee – dubbed Project Apollo – is set to discuss on Thursday relocating all 16 teams to a secure location, likely in western Sydney, in a bid to re-launch the season by May 28.

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It is believed all players and club staff will be isolated for 14 days either at home or in a hotel room before resuming training for the season’s re-launch if there are no positive coronavirus tests.

Cook said he had already spoken to his partner about the prospect and was ready to make the sacrifice of spending months away from his young family if it meant the NRL season could recommence.

“I have had the discussion. If that is what needs to be done that’s what we need to do, that’s the sacrifice we need to make to get the game going again,” the NSW rake told Sky Sports Radio.


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“Obviously it would be a struggle and it would be a struggle for a lot of the boys out there or anyone in the workforce to leave their families, it’s not easy.

“But if it has to be done to get back to work then that is what we will do.” It was in stark contrast to the stance of Melbourne and former Test skipper Smith who was critical of the proposal.

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“I understand these are extraordinary times. But where do we draw the line about what’s important and what’s not?” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“If we’re locked down, or in isolation, that can’t be good either…that can’t be great for people’s state of mind.” Meanwhile, Blues No.9 Cook joined the chorus of disapproval for a plan to re- launch the NRL season with a State of Origin series.

He said hitting the ground running with representative football would be a high injury risk for star players after such a long break.

Damien Cook is prepared to live in a bubble to save the game.Source:Getty Images

“It would be better for a lot of the players to get a bit of footy under the belt,” Cook said.

“I don’t know how keen they (NRL clubs) would be on it.

“They wouldn’t want them playing (Origin) after such a long break and after a weird scenario where we have all been training on our own and not sure how many players have done the right things.

“They would probably want to get their team back together, make sure they are up to speed with their training and play some footy before the rep stuff comes in.”

Originally published asBubble boy: Cook prepared to do ‘what needs to be done’ to save NRL season

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