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BREAKING: Lockdown set to cause NRL postponement

NRL Press Conference

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 03: Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman Peter V’landys speaks to the media during a NRL press conference at Rugby League Central on September 03, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

South East Queensland will enter another lockdown at 4pm this afternoon on the back of a new spike in COVID infections, causing all professional sport to be paused in the area.

It means four of the remaining five NRL games in the current round will be unable to proceed at their current venues.

Six cases were recorded in today’s update, meaning 11 local government areas will go into a lockdown, with it set to run until Tuesday at the earliest.

#BREAKING Qld reporting 6 new community-acquired cases linked to Indooroopilly student – family members, a tutor & a staff member – all with Delta strain. With 7 in this outbreak, the 11 LGAs in south-east Qld currently subject to mask mandate will go into strictest lockdown yet.

— Sean Parnell (@seanparnell) July 31, 2021

While the St George Illawarra Dragons and South Sydney Rabbitohs are set to clash at 3pm in Rockhampton today, the other four games are all set to be played in impacted local government areas.

Those games are as follows:

Newcastle Knights vs Canberra Raiders, 5:30pm Saturday, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Melbourne Storm vs Penrith Panthers, 7:35pm Saturday, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Canterbury Bulldogs vs Gold Coast Titans, 2pm Sunday, CBus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Cronulla Sharks vs Manly Sea Eagles, 4:05pm Sunday, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

Channel 9 journalist Danny Weilder reports that the NRL are in urgent discussions with the Queensland government regarding a possible exemption, with talks of possibly relocating games outside of the impact area also on the table.

BREAKING: NRL in urgent talks with Qld Govt to seek exemption for the competition to continue – huge doubts over games today – options are limited. Relocating games only possibility @9NewsSyd @NRLonNine

— Danny Weidler (@Danny_Weidler) July 31, 2021

It’s understood the AFL have already moved to cancel one of their games in the state, due to be played on the Gold Coast in just a few hours time.

In breaking news the Suns Melbourne has been postponed. I don’t have further details. It’s a developing story as we speak at the AFL @7NewsMelbourne @7AFL

— Tom Browne (@TomBrowne7) July 31, 2021

The NRL had relocated the entire competition to the Queensland bubble on the back of Sydney’s lockdown and spike in COVID cases, with fears the entire season will need to be completed in the state.

The NRL are yet to make an official comment on whether games will be able to go ahead.

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