CANBERRA Raiders players are trading football boots for work boots during the coronavirus shutdown, with Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs product Jack Murchie having his first day on the worksite on Monday.
Several NRL players have been doing odd jobs after the competition was forced into hiatus last week.
Raiders players and staff have been stood down from rugby league duties until further notice, although ARL Commission chairman Peter V'Landys is still hopeful of a July comeback.
A skeleton Raiders staff are still working, although their jobs now also include maintenance of the club's new $19 million base in Braddon.
Read more:Staff stood down for Murchie's Raiders
Canberra forwards Murchie, Elliott Whitehead and John Bateman, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, are just some of the players who will be on the tools this week.
So don't be surprised if you see members of the Green Machine turning up to work around the capital, breaking away from their NRL safety net to step into the real world.
"Back on the tools, the show goes on," Murchie said on Instagram on Monday.
Raiders staff are on leave for the foreseeable future as rugby league administrators work to keep the professional clubs solvent and the players paid at least a portion of their regular wage.
The NRL will give every club $2.5 million to help them survive, with guaranteed funding for at least three months.
Players will take pay cuts of up to 75 per cent.
Parramatta has stood down the majority of their club staff and slashed payroll costs by 75 per cent in response to the NRL season's indefinite suspension due to coronavirus.
In a letter to members on Monday morning, Eels chairman Sean McElduff revealed the 73-year-old club has made drastic cuts and is poised to change its cost structure for more than 60 employees when the competition resumes.
He implored the rugby league community to band together to keep the game alive, rather than point the finger of blame at past decisions.
Head coach Brad Arthur, who is a former Batemans Bay Tiger, has been placed on annual leave and is deferring his long service leave entitlement, but has offered to keep working to ensure players are as prepared as possible for a return.
Arthur is among the few still working as the club runs on skeleton staff, all of whom have had their hours reduced or have had their salary halved.
Executives had already offered a "large salary reduction".
McElduff said his main priority was to ensure the survival of the Eels over the next few months as rugby league faces the most financially challenging period in its history.
"I don't need to explain to you that the COVID-19 virus has had a significant impact on the game of rugby league," he said.
"During the last few weeks, a lot of the public commentary around the game has been centred on examining past decisions and history.
"This is a natural response but as some of our fellow clubs have stated, the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus has been devastating for nearly every sport both here and around the world.
"We want everyone in our industry to focus on the challenge ahead of us, as we are the custodians of both the game and the clubs that millions of Australians support and love."