Mon 12 Jul 2021 - NRL.com
The ARL Commission has decided to relocate all NSW and ACT-based teams to South-East Queensland for one month to minimise risk of the season being impacted by Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak.
After lengthy ARL Commission meetings on Sunday, it was announced that the eight Sydney-based teams will join the Dragons, Knights, Raiders and Central Coast-based Warriors in shifting to dedicated hubs by Wednesday.
All Queensland-based clubs, along with the Melbourne Storm will continue to be based and play home games out of their current home cities.
The NRL is finalising arrangements with the Queensland Government to ensure every club has access to appropriate facilities at each hub.
Clubs will return to Sydney as soon as the Commission believes risk to the competition in NSW has subsided. It is possible the relocations could be longer than one month.
The eight Sydney sides - Manly, Souths, the Roosters, Wests Tigers, Cronulla, Parramatta, Penrith and Canterbury - plus St George Illawarra will relocate from their Wollongong base, along with Canberra, Newcastle and the Warriors, who have been based on the Central Coast since last year.
They will be based at three hubs in the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and the Gold Coast.
Clubs will be flown on charter flights to Queensland and comply with Apollo Protocols and public health requirements to ensure no risk to the Queensland community.
Every club will be permitted a maximum of 41 players and staff while in Queensland.
Players involved in State of Origin III from the 12 affected clubs will reunite with their respective teams and families when they relocate to Queensland.
The order of games over the four weeks from rounds 18-21 will not change, nor will the dates and times of when matches are played.
What will change is the venues for some matches. Games that were to be hosted by Brisbane, North Queensland, Gold Coast or Melbourne will remain as is.
When the changes are announced, the NRL draw page will show the updated information.
The NSW-based teams will play their home games at Cbus Super Stadium Suncorp Stadium or Sunshine Coast Stadium. The exact breakdown of those matches will be announced in the coming days.
At this stage, crowds are permitted at Queensland and Victoria.
Several clubs have already prepared players and staff to be ready for a move, with the NRL requiring Apollo bubble lists of 30 players and 11 staff members to be submitted to head office.
The NRL has agreed to pay for families of players to stay at the same hotels as players.
Pre-season training for each of the six NRLW teams in the expanded competition had also been due to start on Monday, but Project Apollo has now pushed that date back a week with contingencies for the competition to be worked out this week.
|R18||New Zealand Warriors v Penrith Panthers||Suncorp Stadium||18th July 2021 1:50pm|
|R19||Penrith Panthers v Brisbane Broncos||Suncorp Stadium||24th July 2021 7:35pm|
|R20||Melbourne Storm v Penrith Panthers||Suncorp Stadium||31st July 2021 7:35pm|
|R21||Sydney Rosters v Penrith Panthers||Suncorp Stadium||7th August 2021 5:30pm|