Isolating Giants, Swans out of AFL clash

·3-min read

The AFL may need to pause the season after eight Sydney and GWS players were forced into isolation, premiership-winning coach Adam Simpson says.

Star forward Toby Greene is among eight players from the Giants and the Swans now isolating in Queensland after attending a COVID-19 exposure site.

The eight players were made unavailable for Sunday night's game between GWS and Sydney in Queensland.

The AFL says 15 players and staff members from the two Sydney-based clubs attended the Wallabies' Test match against France in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

They were in an area of Melbourne's AAMI Park that has since been reclassified as a Tier 2 exposure site by the Victorian Government.

While Sunday night's GWS-Sydney game on the Gold Coast went ahead, those players and staffers are isolating until cleared by Queensland's Department of Health.

Greene and medical substitute Matt De Boer were both late outs for GWS while Sydney gun Callum Mills and teammates Harry Cunningham and Colin O'Riordan (medical substitute) were also late withdrawals.

Unselected Giants Kieren Briggs and Jake Stein and Sydney ruckman Callum Sinclair are also isolating.

West Coast coach Simpson says the incidents highlight the tightrope the AFL is treading amid coronavirus outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne.

"I would hate to be in the AFL's shoes at the moment, it's a big decision to make," Simpson said after the Eagles' win against Adelaide in Adelaide on Sunday night.

"They have done a pretty good job in trying to keep the season going, the clubs have handled it a lot better - I know we have - trying to pivot quite quickly on where the season is and what we need to do.

"So we're up for it.

"But there probably will be a time where you might need to take a breath and see where things settle."

The AFL said it would follow any Queensland Government directions.

"Each of these players and staff members, currently located in Queensland and under Queensland Department of Health requirements must isolate until notified by the department," the AFL said in a statement.

Giants mentor Leon Cameron said he was prepared to back whatever decision the AFL made in regards to having a pause.

"I've heard some whispers about that. It's like everything, whatever the AFL put in front of us, it's in the best interest of everyone," he said.

"Some people might not agree with it, but if a bye is the best thing to happen for everyone to grab their breath again, they're not taking that decision light."

Meanwhile, North Melbourne were due to return to Melbourne on Sunday night following their loss to Essendon at Gold Coast's Metricon Stadium.

The Bombers will remain in Queensland and are expected to face the Giants, then Swans, in coming weeks - but coach Ben Rutten said they didn't have "100 per cent conclusion" on what the week ahead would look like.

"Obviously our preference would be to get home but (we) understand the Giants and Sydney have been on the road for a long time as well," Rutten said.

He said the Bombers were supporting injured midfielder Andrew McGrath, who is in a hard quarantine after being in a Tier 1 exposure site.

Hawthorn's Conor Nash, who was a late withdrawal for Saturday night's draw with Melbourne after also attending the Wallabies Test, was cleared to re-join the Hawks on Sunday after returning a negative COVID-19 test.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting