Townsville In Line To Host NRL Grand Final As Brisbane Cluster Appears

'Crisis talks' begin

Article heading image for Townsville In Line To Host NRL Grand Final As Brisbane Cluster Appears

The NRL is currently in "crisis talks" to map out whether or not this weekend's Grand Final needs to be moved from Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium - as COVID cases emerge within the city.

Brisbane recorded 19 new cases across the city on Tuesday morning, placing doubt for the league's administrators.

The league could be forced to move venues, putting Townsville in the box seat to take on Sunday's decider.

The match between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers is scheduled to be played at Suncorp Stadium, but the governing body is in discussion over the implications of the current Brisbane outbreak.

Townsville’s Queensland Country Bank Stadium remains on standby should the Queensland Government call a snap lockdown, one that would deny 50,000 fans from attending the event in Brisbane.

NRL officials and the Queensland Government will today map out their next steps.

“We’re pretty calm about it at the moment, but it’s like anything else; the next 24-48 hours will tell us [where we are at],” said ARLC chairman Peter V’landys.

“At the moment, the government hasn’t indicated anything to us. I’m quietly confident we should be OK.

“[Townsville] was always the contingency, when we negotiated with the government we wanted an interchange bench and Townsville is it.

“At the moment we’re not concerned, we’re not activating anything. We’re just going to stay calm and see what happens.”

Townsville hosted this year's opening match of the State of Origin due to outbreaks in Brisbane and Sydney - the venue is half the capacity of Suncorp and a move would result in a major financial loss for the league.

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28 September 2021

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