Rabbitohs hit out as 'chaos' descends on NRL: 'A bit alarming'

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Pictured left to right, Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou and star fullback Latrell Mitchell.
Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou admits the latest outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the NRL is 'alarming'. Pic: Getty

The South Sydney Rabbitohs admit they are already making contingency plans to deal with a fresh Covid-19 problem looming large over the business end of the season.

Manly and Canterbury are both counting the cost of a fresh Covid-19 outbreak with Des Hasler's Sea Eagles missing three key players for Friday night's clash with the Dragons.

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Lachlan Croker, Jake Trbojevic and Andrew Davey are all sidelined with Covid-19 for the Sea Eagles, while Bulldogs fullback Jake Averillo has also tested positive for the second time this season.

Amid growing concerns from NRL clubs, Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) chairman Peter V'landys confirmed that biosecurity bubbles could return before the finals series.

“Coming into finals system we will look at it,” ARLC chief Peter V’landys said.

“We are not concerned at this point of time because of our rapid antigen system working well there is no need to make any changes.

“We’re going to monitor it carefully. We listen to expert advice but the system is working. All we have to do is educate the players and we are doing that.

“We’ve been meeting with clubs and advising them of the greater risks and to be more vigilant.”

This month alone, Trbojevic, Cameron Munster, Murray Taulagi, Reece Walsh, Toby Rudolf and Nicho Hynes have all been among key players to come down with the virus.

The situation haas led the Rabbitohs to declare that regardless of whether the NRL implements them or not, the club will likely enter it's own self-imposed biosecurity bubble towards the end of the regular season.

"It's definitely a bit alarming that there are a few more cases," Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou said.

"It's something that we're definitely looking at, going into our own bubble if we need to, even if the game doesn't."

Covid-19 could make or break club's finals chances

Only six competition points separate sides placed fifth and eleventh and a mass virus outbreak at a club could derail that side's bid to play September football.

The Rabbitohs have a tough run home, playing five of the competition's top eight sides in their last seven games, so could enter a bubble before the regular season finishes in a bid to boost their chances of playing finals footy.

However, Demetriou remains mindful about demanding too much from his players.

Pictured here, Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou admits his side are looking at implementing a biosecurity bubble for their players towards the end of the season.
Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou admits his side are looking at implementing a biosecurity bubble for their players towards the end of the season. Pic: Getty

"You've come this far, 40 weeks by the time you reach finals including pre-season," he said.

"With Covid-19 or any other illness, you need to start thinking about how to have the best preparation for the finals.

"It's hard though because if you do it too early, it's a long time for the players to sacrifice. They've done a lot over the last couple of years."

Demetriou said the spectacle of the finals series would suffer if the league chose not to re-implement league-wide bubbles.

"We've got to protect the integrity of the game," he said.

"If it's still going the way it is, then obviously it's something that the game and us as clubs are going to have to look at."

with AAP

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