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Grand Final to be moved to Townsville if Brisbane goes into lockdown

28 Sep 21, 11:14AM 0 Comments

Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk

Photo by Getty Images

This Sunday the Penrith Panthers and South Sydney Rabbitohs are set to go at it on the game’s biggest stage in the 2021 NRL Grand Final; however, where this monumental clash will take place is now up in the air.

A recent COVID-19 outbreak in Brisbane could put Queensland’s capital city into lockdown before the Grand Final, which would mean the NRL would either have to put the game on at Suncorp Stadium without fans or move the fixture entirely.

Reports have emerged that the NRL is in crisis talks with the Queensland Government about what steps are needed to be taken next to keep the Grand Final on and in front of fans, with ARL Chairman Peter V’Landys speaking to The Courier-Mail.

“We are talking to the government,” said V’Landys.

“At this stage, it is not a concern but we will know more as the day unfolds.

“The grand final won’t stay at Suncorp if there is a lockdown, but at this stage, there isn’t one, so we have to hope and pray there isn’t a lockdown.

“There’s two cases but they are husband and wife so hopefully it can be well contained.

“We will see what happens later today. I don’t have too much information at this stage.”

Channel Nine’s Danny Weidler’s report via Twitter earlier this morning has been the most detailed thus far other than V’Landys statement.

“Privately NRL not too concerned- but obviously can change if Qld Govt get further information and feel a lockdown is necessary,” Weidler tweeted.

“As they say – next 48 hours is important.”

Until further information is released by the NRL or the Queensland Government then preparations will go ahead as planned, with the two sides set to name their lineups at 4 PM.

Penrith head into the game favourites to win their first premiership in 18 years after causing a huge upset last week when they defeated the minor and defending premiers the Melbourne Storm in a blockbuster, while the Rabbitohs cruised to victory against the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

Both teams will be looking to send their departing players off as heroes, with Matt Burton, Brent Naden and Kurt Capewell leaving the Panthers and Adam Reynolds, Jaydn Su’a and possibly Benji Marshall leaving the Rabbitohs.

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