The NRL is poised to clear coaches to call on players outside their top 30 in a pre-emptive strike against COVID-19 with clubs prepared to be hit by the virus this season. Canberra Raiders chief executive Don Furner says a proposal has gone to the ARL Commission which would allow coaches to use players from their NSW Cup or Jersey Flegg Cup squads should their playing ranks be battered by the virus. Rival codes have been forced to postpone a number of games to combat the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases but the NRL's approach could see rugby league bosses avoid a similar headache. The Raiders have had a number of players test positive to the virus while two are yet to be vaccinated, but the entire squad has returned to training. "They're telling us the commission will come up with a system whereby you can drag players outside the top 30 to fill in after a certain amount of rounds and after receiving some positives, which won't be included in the salary cap," Furner said.