Sporting News

Perth border closures cause major changes to NRL, Super Rugby draw

Sporting News logo Sporting News 24/02/2021 01:30:57 Nathan Williamson

The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has caused major changes to the NRL and Super Rugby fixtures as Western Australia maintain their strict border controls.

The Sydney Roosters have confirmed that their Round 12 game against the Canberra Raiders has been shifted from Perth to Central Coast Stadium due to the current landscape and shifting nature of border closures.

"The Sydney Roosters have today announced that the club's Round 12 fixture against the Canberra Raiders has been relocated to Central Coast Stadium, Gosford," a club statement read.

"Following consultation with VenuesWest and other WA authorities, the Roosters have relocated the fixture originally scheduled to be played at HBF Park Perth, due to the current COVID-19 landscape and shifting nature of border closures."

The Roosters had agreed to play one game per year in Western Australia from 2020, however, they are yet to play a game in the state.

"While we're disappointed to not be taking a game to Perth in 2021, we have determined this as the best course of action given the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape," Sydney Roosters COO Jarrod Johnstone said in a statement.

"Having said that, we're committed to taking a home game to Perth in 2022 and we will keep Roosters Members and stakeholders updated with any future updates."

As well as this, the Roosters' round five clash against the Cronulla Sharks has been relocated from Central Coast Stadium to the SCG.

The COVID border restrictions have also forced a shift in the Super Rugby AU fixtures, with the ACT Brumbies and Melbourne Rebels opting to swap home games.

The change will ensure that their round three match will be played at GIO Stadium in Canberra on Saturday 6 March, with the reverse round nine fixture between the two sides at AAMI Park in Melbourne played on Sunday 18th April.

This will allow the Rebels, who are currently based in Canberra to avoid being lockout for their opening game against the Queensland Reds, to travel to Perth for their round four match against the Western Force, with the state requiring anyone arriving from Melbourne to isolate for 14 days.

"I want to thank Phil (Thomson) and the Brumbies, the Rugby Australia Return to Play Committee and our broadcast partners in Nine and Stan for their flexibility and support over the last few weeks," Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson said in a statement.

"We can't wait to get back to Melbourne for our home game against the Waratahs in Round Five and play in front of the Rebels faithful at the Stockade.

"I also want to acknowledge our partners and the Rebels players, staff and families for their continual sacrifice and tireless efforts for the benefit of the competition as a whole."

Given the club was forced to relocate for the 2020 edition of the tournament, Rebels coach Dave Wessels praised the continual sacrifice that his players and their families had made to ensure that the comp could go ahead.

"I would like to echo Baden's comments and pay special tribute to the families and friends of the Rebels playing group," Wessels said.

"They sacrificed so much last year and we're very grateful for their love and support. We can't wait to get home and play in front of you over the back half of the season."

24. helmikuuta 2021 3:30:57 Categories: Sporting News

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