'Staying home': Richmond player opts out of Queensland hub

·2-min read
Pictured here, Bachar Houli in action for the Richmond Tigers.
Bachar Houli won't go into Richmond's quarantine hub after the birth of his baby boy. Pic: Getty

Bachar Houli has opted out of Richmond's road trip and will miss the AFL club's next five games as the reigning premiers prepare for an extended period without several flag stars.

The Tigers head to Queensland on Monday for scheduled matches against Sydney (Gabba) and North Melbourne (Metricon Stadium).

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They will be away for at least five weeks, but Houli will remain in Melbourne to support his wife Rouba, who gave birth to the couple's third child last week.

"(The hub) will be great for the connection of the footy club but unfortunately I'll be staying home," Houli said.

"For those who don't know ... my wife had a baby boy named Mohamed.

"It's a very significant moment for our family and hopefully everyone understands that I won't be travelling with the team because I have to be there to support and show love to my wife and lovely kids.

"I've got three kids now - six, three and a newborn - so (I've got) a little bit on my hands.

"But hopefully in four or five weeks we are bigger and stronger, the boys can get a few wins, and (I can) join on the journey."

Richmond facing squad reshuffle

Shane Edwards is also likely to miss Richmond's trip north because of family reasons and key defender David Astbury is already sidelined with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, Dion Prestia and Toby Nankervis both suffered syndesmosis injuries in Sunday's 27-point win over Melbourne.

Pictured here, Shane Edwards and his wife are expected to welcome a baby in August.
Shane Edwards won't travel with the Tigers either because of the impending birth of a child. Pic: Getty

Captain Trent Cotchin (hamstring) has been ruled out of the Swans clash and Tom Lynch is dealing with a broken finger.

The exodus of AFL clubs from Victoria began on Sunday with Collingwood and Hawthorn sharing a flight to Sydney.

The league confirmed on Friday that all 10 Victorian clubs would be required to leave the state - which is gripped by a COVID-19 outbreak.

Carlton, Geelong, Hawthorn, North Melbourne and St Kilda have all confirmed their entire playing lists are travelling north to the hubs.