Storm could spend months in Queensland

Melissa Woods and Matt Encarnacion
Melbourne have indefinitely relocated to Queensland due to COVID-19 concerns in Victoria

Melbourne Storm's timely escape to Queensland's Sunshine Coast has helped the NRL avoid fixturing chaos enveloping the AFL but they may face months away from home.

The decision to relocate the Storm came ahead of Monday's Queensland government crackdown on sporting teams from Melbourne, where the coronavirus spike has sounded alarm bells.

It means they are free to "host" the Sydney Roosters at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night, although will be missing star playmaker Cameron Munster after scans on Monday confirmed a grade three medial ligament tear which will see him sidelined for at least three weeks.

On the upside is the Storm's incredible record at the Suncorp - they have not lost to the Broncos at their home venue since 2009.

But the Storm squad will likely need to settle in for a long stay in their new base at the Twin Waters resort.

Veteran forward Dale Finucane revealed the players held a meeting with NRL boss Andrew Abdo and biosecurity expert David Heslop on Sunday night and were told there was no end date for their stay in Queensland.

"Given that the numbers are increasing in Victoria it's not looking like (we'll be home) any time soon," Finucane said on Monday.

"They want a period of 28 days once the virus has slowed. So if today, for whatever reason, the virus slowed, we'd be looking at 28 days.

"Obviously that's probably not happening any time soon given that the rates are continuing to increase."

While Finucane's wife and baby son are spending time with family in NSW before heading to Queensland, about 20 partners and 30 children have already arrived - although they cannot leave the confines of the Storm "bubble" within the complex for the next fortnight.

They can access a beach, while those within the complex can still enjoy a round of golf on the adjoining course.

Melbourne hammered the Warriors last round with the Storm sympathetic to the plight of the Auckland-based players who have been in Australia without their families since before the competition restart.

Finucane does not think his side will face quite the same challenges.

"Their predicament is different to ours as we've been given exemptions for our partners because it's within Australia," he said.

"And then with their coach being sacked, it adds to a bit of turmoil at their club."