ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has cast doubt on Peter V'landys' bold bid to have NRL crowds back by July, conceding mass gatherings will likely be unsafe for the foreseeable future.
ARLC chair V'landys set another ambitious target ahead of the NRL's resumption, floating the idea of having capped crowds back in the stands from July 1.
Australia has recorded five weeks of daily COVID-19 case growth of less than half a per cent, leaving the NRL confident about their return to the field on Thursday.
But under the National Cabinet's three step plan to reopen Australia, Barr says V'landys next mission appears ambitious and cannot be controlled by the NRL.
"The current health advice does not suggest that is a likely scenario," Barr said.
"The National Cabinet stage three gathering size is up to 100. So beyond that, it would appear ambitious.
"It's highly unlikely that mass gatherings (tens of thousands of people) will be safe anywhere in Australia for the foreseeable future. It is unlikely to be a decision of the NRL.
"I think most people would put their health and that of their family and friends ahead of attending the footy."
Should V'landys succeed with his latest push, capped crowds would return to the stands weeks before the Green Machine can step foot in Canberra Stadium.
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They're targetting a return to their home turf for a round-11 clash with the South Sydney Rabbitohs on July 25.
The territory government has given the Raiders and ACT Brumbies the all clear to play games at Canberra Stadium, with Barr saying it's unfair the Green Machine has been forced to play elsewhere.
"The ACT government can facilitate both Rugby and NRL returning to [Canberra] Stadium without crowds as allowed by health directions and safe operating procedures. The blockage is the TV broadcasters not the ACT government," Barr said.
"It is unfair for the Raiders to have to travel to Sydney to play every week."
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The Raiders will relaunch their NRL campaign against the Melbourne Storm at AAMI Park on Saturday, before playing three consecutive rounds in Campbelltown.
They won 11 games on the road to last year's grand final, leaving co-captain Josh Hodgson confident to play wherever.
"I'm assuming we'll be able to play some home games but we travel really well as a team anyway, so it's not a big problem for us," Hodgson said.
"We'll be fine to play wherever we have to, it's a sign of a good team when you can just adapt under adversity and get on with things.
"I thought we did that really well last year, so we'll let that continue."
NRL ROUND THREE
Saturday: Melbourne Storm v Canberra Raiders at AAMI Park, 7.35pm