Australian sport investigating options after Queensland shuts border to greater Sydney

The COVID-19 scarred landscape of Australian sport looks set for another major change after the Queensland Government declared its borders will be closed to all of Metropolitan Sydney.

It comes after New South Wales recorded another 19 cases to Wednesday morning and Brisbane deals with its own scare, with two infected teenagers returning from Melbourne without going through quarantine procedures.

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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced the new closures would go into effect from 1am [AEST] Saturday morning.


ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys has confirmed that the NRL will continue to operate under the border exemptions they established when Queensland borders were last closed to New South Wales.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, V'landys said: "Nothing has changed. I don't understand what the problem is.

"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 hot spots in Sydney and we still had the exemption. All we had to do was reinstate the original (biosecurity) protocols, which we have done.

"Anything is possible in these days but I can't understand how any (of the existing exemptions) will have changed when all of the protocols have already been approved."


The AFL's two Sydney-based teams are set to relocate to Queensland earlier than first planned, with Sydney and GWS to fly to Queensland prior to their Round 9 matches to beat the border closure.

This season, clubs that have been allowed to fly in and out of their states have been commuting to interstate venues on game day. But with the Swans to play St Kilda at the Gabba on Saturday night and the Giants to face Gold Coast at Metricon Stadium on Sunday, both clubs will instead begin their Queensland hub stints early.


With only 18 regular season and five finals games to go, it appears as though the A-League will be impacted significantly less than other leagues.

All of the remaining regular season games are currently scheduled in NSW, so Palaszczuk's announcement should not affect the "bubble" the A-League has built in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.

Super Rugby

Super Rugby AU will also be impacted as the Waratahs are based in Sydney. The Rebels and Force relocated form Melbourne and Perth earlier in the year, but have been outside of Greater Sydney.

A Rugby Australia spokesperson told ESPN that it had a "number of contingencies in place" but was hopeful the arrangement the code had with the Queensland Government earlier in the year may stand amid the updated border closure.

Super Netball

Super Netball has been forced to send their remaining four teams across the Queensland border two weeks ahead of schedule after the Queensland Government announced the border would be closed to people from the Greater Sydney region from Saturday.

After months of scrambling to get the season together, the sporting body had only just announced the six opening fixtures last week with three games to be play in eight days in Sydney, with the season to launch on Saturday afternoon.

The restrictions will now see the Giants take on the NSW Swifts at Queensland's Nissan Arena on Sunday, while the Adelaide Thunderbirds and West Coast Fever will face-off in a double-header on Saturday afternoon.

Although disappointed the re-scheduled season would not start as planned, Super Netball CEO Chris Symington said the fixtures were designed to be flexible in order to deal with the constantly changing public health crisis.

"The league has understood from the beginning that this season would need to be flexible to ensure we're able to carry out a full 60-match competition and we have created a system and fixture to deal with the uncertainty of this health emergency," Symington said.

"The health and safety of all players, officials and support staff is paramount and by moving all scheduled matches to Queensland this weekend and beyond, we're ensuring this safety, along with the sustainability of the season.

"We thank all of our players, officials and support staff, especially those based in New South Wales today, for being so flexible with the circumstances we're facing. We understand it isn't easy to leave home for an extended period at short notice and we will ensure the league is adequately supporting these teams."

The Queensland Firebirds and Sunshine Coast Lightning will still host the opening round of the season, while the Magpies and Melbourne Vixens will play the final match of the round in isolation.

The Giants and NSW Swifts are scheduled to fly out of Sydney tomorrow to join the Magpies and Vixens who are currently undergoing two weeks quarantine.