'Massive concern': Roosters caught in Sydney Covid chaos

·3-min read
Seen here, Roosters players stand together during an NRL match.
Roosters players and staff have been sent for Covid-19 testing amid a fresh scare in Sydney. Pic: Getty

The Sydney Roosters' proximity to a fresh Covid-19 scare has thrown a cloud of uncertainty around the NRL's upcoming Magic Round.

Roosters players have been sent for coronavirus tests, with staff told to stay home after a known case visited venues through the city's eastern suburbs.

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Players were on Thursday morning rushed in for tests, some 36 hours out from Friday night's clash with Parramatta.

The main concern centres around an infected man's visit to the Azure Cafe on Monday, less than 100 metres from the Roosters' headquarters.

The Moore Park cafe in the Entertainment Quarter is a popular coffee stop and lunch venue for both Roosters and Sydney Swans AFL players, as well as sports officials.

No Roosters player has reported being at the cafe between 12.30 and 1pm when the infected man was there, however, it's unclear if that also applies to staff of the club.

All employees of the club have been told not to come into work on Thursday, and they will all be tested.

The concerning situation has thrown into doubt the NRL's Magic Round, with Brisbane set to host all 16 NRL teams for round 10, beginning in eight days.

The Australian's Brent Read said labelled it a "massive concern", pointing to the Queensland government's haste in closing its borders for previous Covid-19 outbreaks.

“Longer term implication of latest COVID scare for NRL is Magic Round,” Read tweeted.

“Qld been quick to close borders and entire game is due to relocate next week. Massive concern.”

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NRL taking precautionary measures

ARLC chairman Peter V’landys was quick top hose down suggestions that Brisbane's Magic Round was in jeopardy.

“The next 48 hours is crucial then we will know more,” V’landys said. 

“We are being proactive. We have isolated people. We are testing people and doing everything that’s in our system.

Pictured here, ARLC chairman Peter V'landys at an NRL press conference.
Peter V'landys says there is no suggestion at this stage that the NRL's Magic Round is in jeopardy. Pic: Getty

“We’re not concerned at this point. As we’ve learnt with COVID a lot can change in the next 24 hours.

“At this stage we are comfortable but we are ready to go if things change.”

NRL’s head of football, Graham Annesley says the league will take "precautionary steps" in a bid to prevent any potential problems.

“We’re doing everything we can to get more information about the movement of players,” Annesley told The Daily Telegraph.

“We were alerted late last night and we will take all precautionary steps as soon as possible.”

It's understood all NRL clubs have been provided a list of venues potentially exposed to Covid-19.

All NRL team are due to to head to Brisbane next week, with attention now centred on what Sydney's first case of community transmission in months means for state borders.

The first interstate teams are set to arrive in Brisbane in just six days.

with AAP

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