White believes Brisbane will not be forced to stay in Sydney. AAP Image/Josh Woning.
White believes Brisbane will not be forced to stay in Sydney. AAP Image/Josh Woning.

Broncos confident they can avoid Sydney shift

Brisbane chief executive Paul White is confident the Broncos will not be forced into self-isolation in Sydney as he works with the Queensland government to play NRL games in the Sunshine State.

The NRL's Project Apollo program has set its sights on a May 28 relaunch but to do so the code will require the support of the Queensland and Victoria governments to provide border exemptions for eastern-seaboard travel.

At this stage, Queensland and Victoria have stricter border controls than NSW. That means the Melbourne Storm and Queensland's three clubs - the Broncos, Titans and Cowboys - would face setting up bases in Sydney and remaining for an extended period to salvage the NRL premiership.

 

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But White is hopeful the Broncos will get the green light to stay at Red Hill and has begun dialogue with the Queensland government with a view to NRL clubs using chartered flights to play games at Suncorp Stadium.

The Rabbitohs flew to Brisbane on a private plane for their round-two clash against the Broncos last month just days before the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to the NRL premiership.

"The Queensland Government has been excellent in supporting our game and our club during this difficult time for the entire community, and we look forward continuing our work with them in mapping a way forward," White said.

 

 

"Being able to play at Suncorp Stadium and train at the Clive Berghofer Centre in tightly controlled and monitored conditions will ensure our players and staff have the safest-possible environment to prepare and play rugby league.

"Having May 28 as a target for a restart to the competition provides real hope for everyone at the club and throughout the wider rugby league community.

"There is still a lot of work to be done across all levels of the game to see us get back on the field by the end of next month, and player and community safety must remain as an absolute priority during that process.

 

The Broncos are still planning to play out of Suncorp Stadium. AAP Image/Darren England.
The Broncos are still planning to play out of Suncorp Stadium. AAP Image/Darren England.

 

"We are confident that all those involved - the NRL, clubs, broadcasters, government - can work together to make it happen."

An online poll conducted by the Broncos on whether the 2020 premiership should go ahead attracted almost 30,000 respondents. Approximately 75 per cent of voters backed ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys' vision for the season to resume.

"Rugby league is part of the Queensland psyche and I hope its return will give a boost to people across our community who are doing it tough," White said.

"Player and community health remain the priority throughout all of this - that is a given - and we look forward to putting measures in place to ensure their continued safety.

"I wish everyone a safe and happy Easter and urge you all to continue to follow the instructions of the authorities on self-isolation as we all seek to control the spread of COVID-19."

Originally published as Broncos confident they can avoid Sydney shift



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