Magpies given green light for AFL SA trip

·2-min read

The AFL remains adamant extended hub stints are a last-resort option for the competition this year despite Melbourne's lockdown extension and ongoing uncertainty around interstate travel restrictions.

AFL fixtures boss Travis Auld has reinforced the league's position on hubs after Collingwood were granted an exemption to enter South Australia for their clash with Adelaide.

The SA government's decision to allow the Magpies to fly in and out on Saturday was the final piece of the fixture puzzle for round 12, with three matches moved interstate from Victoria.

St Kilda-Sydney and Carlton-West Coast games have been moved from Melbourne to the SCG, while the Essendon-Richmond Dreamtime clash will be played at Perth's Optus Stadium.

Friday night's Melbourne-Brisbane blockbuster has been moved from Alice Springs to Sydney's Giants Stadium.

Clubs are still in limbo over their movements next week, with the fixture for round 13 and beyond yet to be confirmed.

Multiple players have voiced their concerns through the media over the possibility of longer hub stints, as were required to complete the 2020 season.

But the AFL has this week attempted to reassure players that will not be the case - first through a video message from chief executive Gillon McLachlan on Tuesday night and again via a statement from Auld on Wednesday.

"The reality of the current situation in the community means the fixture will become a week-by-week proposition for the short-term, as we navigate through an uncertain period," Auld said.

"While teams may find themselves on the road for a week or two, we are not envisaging a longer-term hub arrangement for any clubs.

"We will continue to keep a close eye on the current situation in the community before making, if required, any further changes to upcoming rounds."

Richmond star Jack Riewoldt said this week it would be hard to leave his two young children at home with their mother for an extended period.

Other players have reportedly indicated to their clubs that they would rather stay home and forgo playing matches than spend weeks away.

Meanwhile, Tigers captain Trent Cotchin is no certainty to line up against Essendon on Saturday night.

Cotchin is in Sydney with his teammates, who are due to fly to Perth on Friday, but is monitoring a personal issue at home in Melbourne.

"Trent has our full support and as always family comes first," Richmond football manager Tim Livingstone said.

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