NRL and AFL season halted

After just one round completed, the AFL has called for a suspension of play, while the AFLW season has been cancelled outright with no premiership to be awarded this season.

Meanwhile, after considering other options, the NRL was forced to pull the plug and suspend play on Monday night.

With NSW and Victoria imposing state-wide shutdowns on Monday, the AFL has suspended the competition until at least May 31.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan told the AAP the decision had to be made.

"We will review the situation by the end of April to determine whether a further suspension period would be required," McLachlan said.

"The decision by various state governments to close their borders, travel bans and other measures meant it was time for the AFL to immediately stop the AFLW and AFL competitions."

The AFL had been drawing a huge new following in the US after their major sporting codes faced season-long suspensions.

However, play has been halted after just one round and the cancellation of the women's premiership this year could have massive rammifications Mr McLachlan told the AAP.

"To say this is the most serious threat to our game in 100 years is an understatement. It is unprecedented in its impact," he said.

In the NRL, all efforts were made to continue the competition, but Monday night ARLC chairman Peter V'landys and NRL CEO Todd Greenberg conceded that COVID-19 was a fluid situation

"Our pandemic and biosecurity experts said due to the outbreak it is no longer safe for our players to play," V'landys said.

"That's the paramount consideration in all our decision making is the safety and health of our players and accordingly we are suspending our season."

Mr V'Landys said pandemic experts had been alarmed by the rapid rate of infections and that led the suspension decision.

"We were alarmed at how everything changed over the past 24 hours."

Greenberg said the cancellation had put a stop to most activity around the sport.

"We've briefed our clubs and all players have been told. We've asked players to not turn up to training tomorrow.

"While I say it's a tough day for the game, I know it's a tough time for everyone across our community." Both officials said they were taking the advice of experts, but hoped to see the competition return as soon as possible.