NRL holds coronavirus crisis talks over plans to relocate all 16 teams to Queensland

NRL holds coronavirus crisis talks over plans to relocate all 16 teams to Queensland – as players are sent back into radical lockdown to protect the competition

  •  The Australian Rugby League Commission held a COVID-19 meeting on Tuesday 
  •  All 16 NRL teams may be moved to Queensland if coronavirus worsens in NSW 
  •  Non-Queensland players will be sent into a lockdown for the next two weeks
  •  The NRL players may only leave their homes to attend trainings and games 

All 16 NRL teams may be forced to relocate to Queensland amid fears of a second coronavirus wave in New South Wales.

The Australian Rugby League Commission met on Tuesday to discuss moving the entire competition to the Sunshine State and sending its players back into lockdown. 

ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys said relocating the whole competition was ‘an option’ but would be ‘a worst-case scenario’, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.   

The Australian Rugby League Commission held a COVID-19 meeting on Tuesday and may relocate all 16 NRL teams to Queensland (Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane pictured) 

Mr V’landys said prohibiting all non-Queensland players from leaving their homes, unless going to training and games, for the next two weeks should be enough to fight the virus. 

‘We believe that bringing in harsh and strict biosecurity measures now will ensure that there’ll be no risk going to and from Queensland, especially when we fly in and fly out,’  he said.

He said he had written to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to discuss the NRL competition after she declared 77 Sydney suburbs as COVID-19 hotspots.  

‘We’re not making any rash decisions. We will be patient and see how this pans out,’ Mr V’landys said. 

The contingency plan comes as Melbourne Storm were forced to relocate to the Sunshine Coast amid Melbourne’s stage three coronavirus lockdown. 

New South Wales has also recorded an alarming coronavirus spike with 13 new cases reported on Tuesday and 28 cases linked to Crossroads Hotel in western Sydney.   

The return to lockdown and team bubbles will see players unable to attend any restaurants, pubs or beaches and visitors to their homes will also be restricted. 

The entire NRL competition (Raiders and Storm game pictured) could move to Queensland if coronavirus cases in NSW continue to rise, after the state recorded 13 new cases on Tuesday

The entire NRL competition (Raiders and Storm game pictured) could move to Queensland if coronavirus cases in NSW continue to rise, after the state recorded 13 new cases on Tuesday  

‘We won’t take any risks with our players and the community.

‘We are enforcing the original protocols to ensure our players are not mixing with the general community. We are doing everything we can to keep the playing group healthy during this period,’ Mr V’landys said. 

He also thanked the players and clubs for adhering to the strict lockdown rules.

‘The players have done the right thing and when there has been a mistake clubs have been very quick to report any breach.’

Channel Nine commentator Phil Gould told the 100% Footy show on Monday that the NRL was ready to move all its teams to Queensland.   

‘What I do know is the NRL is prepared. 

‘They are ready to go, if in fact the borders shut again and we’re in lockdown again, Peter V’landys will pick up the teams and move them to Queensland or anywhere else he has to do to keep the competition going,’ he said. 

The NRL will play Round 10 this weekend and still has another 10 rounds to go followed by four weeks of finals.       

The entire Melbourne Storm team (pictured) has already been forced to relocate to Queensland after Melbourne went into a six-week-long coronavirus lockdown

The entire Melbourne Storm team (pictured) has already been forced to relocate to Queensland after Melbourne went into a six-week-long coronavirus lockdown 

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