The Sydney Swans and the GWS Giants will temporarily move players and football staff to Victoria amid concerns over possible border closures because of COVID-19 cases in NSW.
- The AFL informed the Swans and Giants they would be required to travel to Melbourne this evening
- Sunday’s match between GWS and Hawthorn has been relocated to the MCG
- The Swans are due to play the Power at Adelaide Oval on Sunday
The Giants and Swans’ travelling parties are heading to Melbourne this evening via charter plane in a bid to ensure they are able to play their respective matches in round 15.
The AFL informed GWS and Sydney this afternoon they would be required to move within hours.
Sunday’s clash between GWS and Hawthorn, which was scheduled to be played at Sydney’s Giants Stadium, has been relocated to the MCG.
The Swans are due to take on the Power at Adelaide Oval on Saturday and are hopeful of flying in and out of South Australia on the same day, as Collingwood and Geelong did earlier this month.
Earlier today, Swans coach John Longmire said AFL clubs were now used to “unpredictability” when it comes to the fixture, restrictions and temporary relocations this season.
“We got a fairly good go at that last year and this year again,” Longmire said.
“It’s just part and parcel of what sport is and what the community is at the moment.
“You’ve just got to adapt no matter what’s going on and things change pretty quickly.”
The Sydney-based clubs’ temporary relocation comes as the AFL awaits a call on crowd limits at matches in Melbourne this weekend.
The league had lobbied the Victorian government for a 50 per cent crowd capacity at the MCG and Docklands, with a decision looming on Wednesday.
Friday night’s Richmond-St Kilda match at the MCG is likely to be the first fixture in Melbourne played in front of spectators since May 23.
The return of crowds at some level will at least mean matches are not moved away from Melbourne for a fourth consecutive week.
The MCG will host Essendon-Melbourne on Saturday night, with Docklands hosting Collingwood-Fremantle (Saturday) and Carlton-Adelaide (Sunday).