Round six fixtures announced as six Melbourne clubs relocate to Queensland and Fremantle receive new opponent
Fremantle will play St Kilda in a revamped round six match at Metricon Stadium next Saturday as the AFL shifts games from coronavirus-riddled Victoria.
West Coast’s round six opponent will still be Adelaide – the only team other than Fremantle in the Queensland hub they are yet to play.
The games have been scheduled for daytime to allow the WA clubs to fly out of Queensland and back into Perth by midnight on Saturday to begin their 14 day quarantine.
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The two clubs heading to WA for the first stage of the hub here – Collingwood and Geelong, have had their round six games shifted to New South Wales.
The Cats will play Brisbane at the SCG on Thursday July 9 while Collingwood will play Hawthorn at Giants Stadium on Friday July 10.
All round six games have been shifted out of Victoria to either Sydney or Queensland.
Fremantle’s fixture change comes as Noosa plays host to six Melbourne-based AFL club until the end of July - or potentially even longer if Victoria’s coronavirus spread continues.
The Saints and Carlton - last night’s opponents - will stay at RACV Noosa Resort from as early as Monday, as the league scrambles to remove players from Melbourne’s coronavirus-riddled hotspots.
The public resort has been closed since the COVID-19 lockdown and hasn’t welcomed guests for months.
Queensland premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed the Sunshine State would host St Kilda, North Melbourne, Essendon, the Western Bulldogs, Richmond and Carlton through quarantine.
“Queensland is coming to the salvation of the AFL season," she told reporters.
Palaszczuk dubbed Queensland the ‘home of the AFL’ with the six clubs set to be based north for the bulk of the season.
In a statement the AFL said round five will continue as fixtured and Victorian based clubs will fly out at the conclusion the round with all 10 teams to be temporarily relocated to other states across the country.
The amendment to the fixture has been made based on relevant State Government and Medical officer advice to firstly ensure the safety of not only the clubs, players, officials and the wider community, but also to provide certainty to clubs and fans on the next block of games, the statement said.
The Victorian-based teams will move to bases in Queensland, NSW and WA where they will undergo the various quarantine regimes while also continuing to adhere to the strict protocols the AFL has in place.
AFL Chief Executive Gillon McLachlan said the announcement today was the next step as the AFL continued to make the necessary changes to navigate the impact of Covid-19 on the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership season.
“The health and safety of our people and the wider community is paramount.
“We will continue to make decisions that are anchored in the advice of Governments and designed to protect our people and the wider community.”
“I have said on a number of occasions that this would be a season of challenges.
“And that the one certainty is that before we completed the 2020 Toyota AFL premiership season there would be more unique challenges along the way.”
“I want to thank the Governments in NSW, Queensland and WA for their support in helping us set up a series of high-performance centres that will see interstate teams based in their state in accordance with all the strict local protocols and playing games.”
“I would also like to thank all of our clubs, players, coaches, umpires and officials for their continued support and ability to adapt quickly as we navigate through the changing environment.”
“The Victorian clubs now temporarily moving interstate are playing their part in ensuring our season endures in a year that will continue to challenge us all.”
I have also often talked about the need for us to continue to be flexible and agile. As situations change across Australia so has our response.
“And it will continue to do so.”
FULL ROUND 6 AND 7 FIXTURE - FIXTURES IN EST TIME
Thursday July 9
Geelong vs Brisbane Lions, 7.40pm SCG
Friday July 10
Collingwood vs Hawthorn, 7.50pm Giants Stadium
Saturday July 11
Fremantle vs St Kilda, 12.35pm Metricon Stadium
West Coast Eagles vs Adelaide Crows, 3.05pm Gabba
Melbourne vs Gold Coast Suns, 6.05pm Giants Stadium
Essendon vs North Melbourne, 7.40pm Metricon Stadium
Sunday July 12
Port Adelaide vs GWS Giants, 1.05pm Metricon Stadium
Richmond vs Sydney Swans, 3.35pm Gabba
Carlton vs Western Bulldogs, 6.45pm Metricon Stadium
Thursday July 16
Geelong v Collingwood, 7.50pm at Optus Stadium
Friday July 17
Essendon v Western Bulldogs, 7.50pm at Metricon Stadium
Saturday July 18
GWS v Brisbane, 1.45pm at GIANTS Stadium
Sydney v Gold Coast, 4.35pm at SCG
Richmond v North Melbourne, 7.40pm at Metricon Stadium
Sunday July 19
Carlton v Port Adelaide, 1.05pm at The Gabba
Hawthorn v Melbourne, 3.35pm at GIANTS Stadium
Fremantle v West Coast, 6.35pm at Optus Stadium
Monday July 20
Adelaide v St Kilda, 7.40pm at Adelaide Oval
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