Australia NRL players on notice as Jeannette Young says she's close to booting the league out of Queensland

06:02  23 july  2021
06:02  23 july  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

Two NRL double-headers to start Qld hub

  Two NRL double-headers to start Qld hub Gold Coast and Brisbane will host double-headers as NRL players settle into hub life in southeast Queensland.League bosses have unveiled an updated draw for this weekend's games with match-ups and scheduling times to remain the same.

The NRL's latest alleged biosecurity breach has placed the competition in immediate danger, with Queensland's Chief Medical Officer Jeannette Young warning she is getting close to revoking exemptions.

The delicate relationship between the Queensland government and the NRL has taken a further hit, with Api Koroisau under investigation following claims he breached a strict biosecurity bubble while in NSW Origin camp.

It follows vision of NRL families quarantining in Queensland hotels passing food to each other on balconies, breaching government protocols that were enacted late on Wednesday night.

NRL families from COVID-19 hotspot Greater Sydney have flights delayed after Queensland exemptions held up

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The NRL relocated to Queensland as the NSW COVID outbreak took hold, and has been granted exemptions to continue the competition north of the border based on assurances players and staff follow strict protocols agreed to by the government.

Asked on Friday at what point the NRL's exemptions could be revoked, Dr Young said: "I'm getting very close to it."

"Yes, I'm very, very concerned about what is happening with these NRL players," she said.

"You would have seen that imagery of the family hotel where they were sharing goods between verandahs.

"If I have any more breaches, I am very concerned.

"It's for all of them. This is too risky. We just cannot have people deliberately breaching the rules."

The NRL was blindsided on Thursday night by a Daily Mail report claiming Penrith hooker Koroisau breached restrictions while with the NSW team.

NRL players to reunite with families in Queensland

  NRL players to reunite with families in Queensland The NRL will reunite players with their families, with the Queensland government agreeing to an application to reunite relatives.Almost 500 family members will travel to Surfers Paradise to reunite with their loved ones after Rugby League Central successfully submitted individual applications to enter the state.

An integrity unit investigation is now underway.

Koroisau was 18th man in the first two games of the series before making his Origin debut in game 3.

The NRL has already handed down harsh penalties for biosecurity breaches, including a two-game ban to Jai Arrow, who breached the Queensland Origin bubble before game 3.

The NRL also handed down suspensions and fines worth $305,000 to St George Illawarra players after a now infamous barbecue at Paul Vaughan's home.

"We've proven that anyone who breaches the protocols puts the competition at risk and puts the income of all their fellow players at risk, and they will be penalised," ARLC chairman Peter V'landys said on 2GB on Friday.

"We certainly penalised the St George team and Jai Arrow, and he'll be no different if these allegations are proven."

The Panthers are preparing to face Brisbane on Saturday, with the club now waiting for advice from the NRL on whether Koroisau is able to play.

Coach Ivan Cleary said he had spoken with Koroisau but wouldn't comment further until the investigation was complete.


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NRL to play five games in two days despite Greater Brisbane lockdown .
All matches on Saturday were cancelled after the Queensland government announced six new cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant. But these games will now be played on Sunday, while the final two games of the round will be held on Monday night. The NRL said they will now enact "level 4+" COVID protocols, which means all teams will play at one venue and be tested daily. Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V'landys said the competition will continue after the league was able to reach an agreement with the state government.

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