Brisbane Broncos stars Jack Bird and Darius Boyd have appeared to flout Queensland lockdown restrictions after the state’s premier gave the NRL the green light on a potential future restart.
Queensland's NRL teams the Cowboys, Brisbane and the Titans have avoided relocating to NSW for the 2020 season after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk opened the state's border ahead of the competition's planned May 28 resumption.
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It ensured Queensland clubs can remain at their home base for the season, scrapping contingency plans they had made to relocate to NSW hubs.
But on Friday, Channel Nine filmed Broncos veteran Boyd and injured centre Bird at New Farm Park sitting down and having lunch.
While the meeting, reported to have been for an hour, went against Queensland’s social-distancing rules the club issued a statement in defence of their actions.
“Jack has undergone reconstructive surgery on the knee, the second time on the same knee in the past 12 months, and has been encouraged by the club to meet regularly with Darius – both as a friend, and also through Darius’ role as a mental health ambassador with the Broncos,” the statement read, issued to The Courier Mail.
“That mental health role sees Darius working in our community programs in schools, with our young development players, and with the current Broncos playing group. This mental health work is over-and-above Darius’ playing contract and is endorsed by the NRL.
“Today’s meeting between Darius and Jack was a senior player providing support, advice and a kind ear to a young man who has seen his third-straight season ruined by injury.”
#EXCLUSIVE: The NRL season is back on tonight, with Queensland giving special permission for teams to cross our border - on the condition players don't breach #COVID19 restrictions. @JordanFabris9 #9News pic.twitter.com/XNMZBtMneb— Nine News Queensland (@9NewsQueensland) May 1, 2020
The Broncos wanted to re-affirm the duo and the club will continue to support the state’s Covid-19 restrictions.
Morrison slaps down NRL reports
The Prime Minister has refuted claims from the NRL that the New Zealand Warriors have been cleared to fly into Australia.
Nine News on Friday reported that the Warriors will be allowed to fly into Tamworth airport and base themselves in the regional NSW town.
Tamworth airport is normally ‘domestic only’ but will be temporarily changed to an ‘international’ airport for the flight.
However, as of Friday afternoon Australian Border Force authorities had yet to give the green light for the Warriors to arrive.
“And no amount of reporting it will change that decision,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“That will be made on the basis of the border assessments of the Australian Border Force and they're working through that application.”