EletiofeNRL considering moving competition to Queensland as Covid-19 crisis...

NRL considering moving competition to Queensland as Covid-19 crisis soars

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The Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys has called an urgent meeting as reports surfaced about the possibility of the NRL moving the entire competition to Queensland to stave off another coronavirus-related season halt.

V’landys told Fairfax the NRL was working on a contingency plan to play out the rest of the season, which still has 11 rounds plus finals to run, in Queensland. On Tuesday the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, declared Liverpool and Campbelltown, areas of Sydney’s south-west where many NRL players live, as Covid-19 hotspots.

No one who has visited those areas in the past fortnight would be allowed into the state, she said. Queenslanders returning after visiting the areas will need to undergo hotel quarantine at their own expense.

The NRL is seeking assurances from the Queensland government that players who have visited the hotspots would be exempt from mandatory quarantine period.

The NRL hopes an existing exemption for teams to enter the state despite earlier border closures will simply continue given the game’s strict biosecurity measures.

No games have been played at Campbelltown Stadium in the past 14 days, but many NRL players live in the area. In round 10 there is only one game scheduled in Queensland, with Melbourne and Gold Coast to play on Friday night. It will not be affected by the new regulations as both teams are already in Queensland.

Also up for consideration is a Wests Tigers and Warriors game scheduled for Campbelltown Stadium on 31 July.

A cluster of cases of the virus has been linked to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula, while three NRL players were put into “Covid-hold” away from their teams on Monday. There were 28 cases associated with the hotel, the NSW chief health officer, Kerry Chant, said on Tuesday.

More to follow…

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