'Know the truth': NRL's shock virus claims against Queensland Premier

Sam Goodwin
Sports Editor
Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks to the media at a press conference in Brisbane. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

NRL ‘Project Apollo’ member Troy Grant has hit back at Annastacia Palaszczuk after the Queensland Premier demanded a detailed plan from the league on how they will restart the season on May 28.

Palaszczuk fired the latest shot in an ugly war-of-words with the NRL on Thursday when she said she was yet to see the NRL’s plans to restart amid the coronavirus crisis.

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Wayne Pearce announced on Wednesday that the government had given the green light to the code to restart on May 28 under the Project Apollo scheme.

However the Queensland Premier said she would need to see a detailed outline of the NRL’s plans before a game was played in the state, saying the league had only been working with the NSW government.

“There is no detailed plan. I call on the NRL to submit that detailed plan and I will immediately forward it to (Queensland’s Chief Medical Officer) Dr (Jeannette) Young for her consideration and to report back to me,” Palaszczuk said, according to the Courier Mail.

“I’m saying to the NRL, send the detailed plan, send all of your health information, send how it’s all going to work.

“Put it in a detailed plan and I’m more than happy to forward it to Dr Young. Dr Young has said today she’s more than happy to consider it.”

But later on Thursday, Project Apollo fired back and made the startling claim that Palaszczuk previously asked them NOT to send through their plans.

“I’m a little confused. I know what the truth is because I rang and spoke to a Queensland government representative who is on their response committee, and I asked the question,” Grant told Wide World of Sports Radio.

“That person went and asked the Premier and others ... And during a Project Apollo meeting I got the phone call that said do not send us anything.

“So we honoured that. We understood they had a lot on their plate. To suddenly say we have not received anything, that is because she told us not to send anything.”

The Penrith Panthers look on during round two of the NRL before the season was suspended. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

Latest twist in Palaszczuk’s battle with NRL

Palaszcuk has had a running battle with the NRL in recent weeks, with NSW coach Brad Fittler launching a stunning attack on the Premier.

Fittler took exception to Palaszczuk declaring she wouldn’t want a State of Origin match played in Queensland and wouldn’t support sending Queensland clubs to Sydney to help the NRL restart on May 28.

The comments drew the ire of NSW coach and Blues legend Fittler, who said he can't understand that attitude to an Origin series as the Australian rates of COVID-19 infection continue to drop.

Fittler labelled Palaszczuk’s comments ‘ludicrous’ and ‘lacking backbone’, sparking an angry response from the Premier’s office.

“It’s ridiculous. The Premier is in the midst of a global pandemic and is managing the health concerns for Queensland,” a spokesperson for Palazczuk told the Sydney Morning Herald on Sunday.

“They always come first. The Premier has said often that the health advice comes first.”

Doing the rounds on Sydney radio on Saturday afternoon, Fittler took aim at Palaszczuk for the second time.

“Just throwing the towel in this early is a crazy way to go. I don't see it as anything we want to be about. It shows no spirit, no backbone,” he told Triple M.

“I think you've got to fight this thing to a degree by showing it respect, but also trying to find a way out of it.

“I think since then Annastacia's turned around because she realised the importance of Origin to Queensland people and NSW people.”