Latest News

Pearce and Ponga back NRL to play on

Newcastle stars Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga are happy for the NRL to play on through the coronavirus crisis even after the AFL suspended their season until at least June.

The Knights duo learned of the AFL's decision to press pause on competition in the minutes after they left the field at Leichhardt Oval on Sunday.

The bombshell news broke during the Knights' 42-24 win over Wests Tigers, and while the players were shocked at events in the other code, they support the NRL's decision to persevere with the season for the time being.

The second-placed Knights are on a hot streak to start the season and captain Pearce said the group is committed to playing as long as it remains safe to do so.

"This is the happiest time of the year, we get the opportunity to play footy," said Pearce.

"All us as players, we recover tonight and we can't wait to get out there against Cronulla next week."

Ponga was of like mind.

"I'm happy to keep playing. That's pretty huge. I don't really know too much about it, I don't read too much into it," Ponga said.

"I know it's a big pandemic and I just hope everyone is staying safe and staying healthy.

"If we keep playing, we keep playing. If we don't, we don't."

The NRL are confident they have the support of players and clubs to continue with the season safely.

On Sunday, NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg confirmed to AAP the game will continue to follow all government advice to protect the health and safety of players and staff.

"However, we understand the pace of the crisis is escalating rapidly and we need to remain flexible and conscious of community expectations," he said.

© AAP 2020