Two clubs in limbo, could spent weeks on road amid border restrictions

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Two clubs in limbo, could spent weeks on road amid border restrictions

The AFL will send Gold Coast and GWS to Melbourne this weekend if the Queensland government refuses to open its border to Victoria.

The league is desperate to stage the Suns v Demons and Giants v Power match in Queensland and on Tuesday morning remained determined for that outcome to eventuate.

But the plan B scenario would see Gold Coast face Melbourne at Marvel Stadium on Saturday afternoon and GWS take on Port at a Melbourne-based venue the following day.

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The Giants are keen to play a home game in Canberra (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Bringing GWS and Gold Coast to Victoria has implications for the rest of their seasons without a sterile corridor yet to open up.

It could force both clubs to spend multiple weeks on the road for the second time in 2021.

It also would have a significant impact on the GWS families and loved ones who are 10 days away from being released out of quarantine.

If the Giants are in Melbourne and the borders remain locked, these families would need to fly south as soon as they get out.

When the AFL made its Round 20 fixture public on Monday evening, both games were listed as TBC as the league waited on the Queensland government’s decision.

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League officials remain hopeful the same allowances afforded to Hawthorn, Brisbane, Geelong and North Melbourne by Tasmania will be afforded to GWS, Port and Melbourne this weekend by Queensland health authorities.

The Giants players and staff who have spent the past week and a bit in hotel isolation will be released late on Tuesday and re-join their teammates and colleagues on Wednesday morning.

Giants coach Leon Cameron told Fox Footy’s AFL 360 on Monday night that the club has been trying for weeks to get a home game in Canberra.

“We’d love to go to Canberra, we’ve been trying to get there for the last six or seven weeks (to) play a couple of home games there,” Cameron said.

“Clearly restrictions might hold that back but hopefully that would come through. It could be anywhere from Melbourne, Canberra to where we are in Queensland.”

The same applies for Sydney’s contingent of players and staff who attended the Wallabies v France rugby match at AAMI Park on July 13.

Both clubs remain confident their players will be fit to play in Round 20. Similarly, Rowan Marshall will be released from home quarantine in Perth on Tuesday and the Saints expect him to face Carlton on Friday night.

He moved from the hotel to an Airbnb late last week after a request was accepted by the West Australian state government.

ROUND 20 FIXTURE

FRIDAY

St Kilda v Carlton, 7.50pm at Marvel Stadium

SATURDAY

Western Bulldogs v Adelaide, 12.20pm at MARS Stadium

North Melbourne v Geelong, 1.15pm at Blundstone Arena

Gold Coast Suns v Melbourne, 3.10pm at venue TBC

Collingwood v West Coast Eagles, 4.15pm at MCG

Essendon v Sydney Swans, 7.40pm at The Gabba

SUNDAY

Hawthorn v Brisbane Lions, 2.10pm at UTAS Stadium

GWS Giants v Port Adelaide, 3.10pm at venue TBC

Fremantle v Richmond, 5.10pm at Optus Stadium

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