“We had an exemption when we first put the protocols in and they were submitted and approved when the whole border was closed.
“Now they’re only closing Sydney. They’ve already closed it to hotspots in Sydney and we still had the exemption. All we had to do was reinstate the original protocols, which we have done.”
The three Queensland clubs and the Melbourne Storm – who are currently based on the Sunshine Coast – have also been forced to adopt the strict protocols, which stop players from visiting local cafes, restaurants, gyms, pubs and clubs.
“They weren’t under those protocols before. We have simply reinstated everything to what it was when the competition came back – and the risk was greater than it is now.
“Anything is possible in these days but I can’t understand how any (of the exemptions) will have changed when all of the protocols have already been approved.”
If the situation changes, the NRL will explore two options.
Their preference would be to move the three Queensland clubs and the Storm – who are currently based on the Sunshine Coast – into regional NSW.
If that isn’t possible, Sydney NRL clubs will almost certainly have to relocate and matches will have to be moved.
The Sydney Swans and the Greater Western Sydney Giants will not wait and see – they have already begun the process of moving themselves north, where they will join the rest of the AFL’s teams in Queensland.
The two AFL clubs, who have been on standby to relocate for the last two weeks, will fly out at the earliest opportunity.
Rugby Australia is also exploring its options to ensure Super Rugby AU can continue, with the NSW Waratahs and the Western Force currently based in Sydney. The Waratahs have a bye this weekend but the Force host the Rebels at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night.
The Melbourne Rebels and the ACT Brumbies are both based in Canberra.
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Sam is a sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.