Rugby Championship organisers have reportedly ordered players and staff to isolate in their hotels amid a Covid-19 outbreak in Brisbane, but teams can continue training ahead of the final matches in the competition.
The four Rugby Championship teams played in a double-header in Townsville this past weekend and wrap up the competition on the Gold Coast this coming Saturday.
But it is believed New Zealand, South Africa, Argentina and hosts Australia are allowed to continue training outside their hotels at closed sessions but cannot mix with the public, as authorities scramble to contain a potential new Covid-19 outbreak in the Brisbane region.
Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young said officials could order a lockdown if more cases emerge over the next couple of days, but added there’s no need to panic just yet.
With some restrictions being reintroduced, All Blacks assistant coach Scott McLeod told reporters that the Rugby Championship squads have been ordered to isolate in their hotel rooms.
“We’re not allowed out of the hotel except for essentials or medical visits,” McLeod explained. “It’s something that’s unexpected but we’ve had it before and dealt with it really quickly.”
On Tuesday, though, Bok head coach Jacques Nienaber said he was not fully aware of the latest restriction developments at this stage.
“I haven’t seen anything or heard anything official,” Nienaber said. “We were just at dinner when somebody said they had seen that update in the news. But I don’t know what the facts are around that. I’m not sure.”
The outbreak has placed a number of local sporting events in doubt, with the Sheffield Shield cricket match between Queensland and Tasmania in Brisbane called off just before the toss on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Brisbane is set to host the National Rugby League’s championship-deciding ‘Grand Final’ on Sunday at a sold-out Lang Park but it could be shifted to Townsville in north Queensland if required.
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