Coronavirus: Rebels to move Reds game amid spike in COVID-19 cases

By Sports Desk June 29, 2020

Melbourne-based franchise the Rebels are exploring alternative venues for their upcoming game against the Reds due to quarantine restrictions in Queensland.

The Rebels open their Super Rugby AU campaign on Saturday when they take on the Brumbies, with 50 players and staff already relocating to Canberra ahead of the clash at GIO Stadium.

However, new provisions imposed by the Queensland government amid a rise in coronavirus cases means the planned round two fixture against the Reds on July 10 is to be moved.

In a statement, the Rebels confirmed they are looking into options in New South Wales but, following consultation with Rugby Australia and Queensland Health, the match will be allowed to go ahead as the group will have been out of Victoria for 14 days beforehand.

The players and staff will continue to be tested for COVID-19 ahead of the new domestic competition organised following the suspension of the Super Rugby season.

"We thank all state governments for their open collaboration and working with us throughout these unique circumstances," the statement read.

"The ongoing base of the Melbourne Rebels squad following this July 10 fixture is currently also being determined, with a bye scheduled for Round 3.

"Not unlike other teams and codes domestically and abroad, the short-term relocation of the Melbourne Rebels away from Australia's sporting capital has been a challenging and evolving situation.

"It is a sacrifice from our club, players and staff which provides for the commencement and continuation of the 2020 Super Rugby AU competition, and illustrates our commitment to the future prosperity of rugby in Australia."

Related items

  • Coronavirus scare disrupted Dybala contract talks – Juve chief Paratici Coronavirus scare disrupted Dybala contract talks – Juve chief Paratici

    Juventus are keen to renew Paulo Dybala's contract, but managing director Fabio Paratici revealed the club's coronavirus scare made negotiations difficult.

    Dybala has two years remaining on his existing deal in Turin but an extension has long been mooted, with the Bianconeri said to be discussing an agreement until 2025.

    But no clarity has been forthcoming in the opening weeks of the 2020-21 season.

    Paratici is not overly concerned, though, explaining the reason for the delay.

    "We're in talks to extend Paulo's contract," he told Sky Sport Italia. "He wants to stay and we want to keep him - he's part of our future.

    "It has been a tricky period because we were locked in the hotel for two weeks due to the COVID scare and not allowed to meet anyone.

    "But we'll continue the negotiations to find an agreement."

    Juve were forced into "fiduciary isolation" earlier this month after two staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

    Cristiano Ronaldo has also been missing in recent weeks having contracted the virus on international duty.

    The absence of the Juve number seven allowed Dybala to come into the team against Hellas Verona on Sunday for his first start and just second overall appearance of the new campaign.

    Dybala made his return off the bench against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League, and Paratici said ahead of Sunday's game: "Paulo is in better shape physically now.

    "Let's not forget he was out for two months with a muscular injury, then had a gastrointestinal infection in Argentina.

    "It's right that he now has the opportunity to start after a few run-outs."

  • Brazil and Barcelona great Ronaldinho tests positive for coronavirus Brazil and Barcelona great Ronaldinho tests positive for coronavirus

    Brazil and Barcelona legend Ronaldinho has confirmed he has tested positive for COVID-19. 

    Ronaldinho, who won 97 caps for Brazil between 1999 and 2013, posted a video to his Instagram story revealing his diagnosis. 

    The 40-year-old said he is asymptomatic and is self-isolating in Belo Horizonte, having arrived in the city on Saturday. 

    "I've been here in BH since yesterday, I came to participate in an event," Ronaldinho said on Sunday. 

    "I took the test and tested positive for COVID. I'm fine, asymptomatic, but we'll have to leave the event for later. Soon we will be there together. Big hug!" 

    It has been a turbulent year for Ronaldinho who, along with his brother Roberto Assis, was jailed in Paraguay in March after entering the country with fake passports. 

    The pair were moved to house arrest in a Paraguayan hotel in April after serving 32 days in prison, with their sentences ending in August. 

  • Bayern's Gnabry in contention for Champions League return after ending quarantine Bayern's Gnabry in contention for Champions League return after ending quarantine

    Serge Gnabry has been allowed to come out of quarantine and is in contention for Bayern Munich's Champions League clash with Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday. 

    The Germany international started a period of self-isolation after testing positive for coronavirus on Tuesday but he subsequently provided negative results for the following four days.

    Bayern say the Munich health department have now declared the original test a "false positive" and have lifted the quarantine measures. 

    Former Arsenal forward Gnabry missed Bayern's 4-0 Champions League win over Atletico Madrid in midweek and the 5-0 thumping of Eintracht Frankfurt in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

    Gnabry, 25, scored 12 goals and provided 10 assists in the Bundesliga last season, and began this season with a hat-trick in the 8-0 thrashing of Schalke.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.