Giants to host Suns in Ballarat AFL clash

·2-min read

GWS will 'host' Gold Coast at Mars Stadium in Ballarat on Sunday, but the Giants are hopeful of playing their AFL derby against Sydney at home next week.

The Giants have been forced to live and play outside of NSW since June 22 because of a COVID-19 outbreak, with the AFL announcing on Tuesday that Ballarat will be the location of their latest fixture.

GWS have never played at Mars Stadium while the Suns played there in round seven of 2018, when they lost to the Bulldogs by nine points.

The stadium was redeveloped in 2016 and can hold 11,000 fans.

The clash will commence at 12.40pm AEST on Sunday.

Despite NSW still being in lockdown and recording 18 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, the Giants haven't given up hope of being able to return home next week to host Sydney.

"With round 18 quickly approaching, we are hopeful of still playing the Sydney derby in front of our members and fans at Giants Stadium," GWS chief executive David Matthews said.

Matthews said the club had explored the option of playing the Suns in Canberra this week.

"We've worked closely with the ACT Government and been in regular contact in regards to what opportunities there are to play extra home games in Canberra this year," Matthews said.

"With the current restrictions in place and the uncertainty regarding the evolving COVID situation, it was agreed that regional Victoria was the most suitable venue for this particular match.

"The ACT continues to be a very important region for the Giants and we'll continue to work closely with the ACT Government regarding the rest of the 2021 season."

The AFL will soon announce the venue of Brisbane's clash with St Kilda - the last remaining jigsaw piece for this round.

The game was originally set to be at the Gabba, but the AFL will further monitor the COVID-19 situation in Queensland before making a call on the venue.

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