St George Illawarra players Zac Lomax and Daniel Alvaro may have to spend a month on the sidelines after reportedly refusing to sign a sworn statement regarding the club’s infamous COVID-19 breach at Paul Vaughan’s house.
The pair are the only two holdouts from the Dragons’ ‘dirty dozen’ who have not signed the statements, which confirm that only players were present at the gathering.
According to NRL.com, the other 10 players – Corey Norman, Jack Bird, Matt Dufty, Josh McGuire, Tyrell Fuimaono, Blake Lawrie, Kaide Ellis, Jack de Belin, Josh Kerr and Gerard Beale – have returned to training, but Lomax and Alvaro remain in a COVID-19 hold and won’t be allowed to travel to Queensland with the other players on Wednesday.
NRL boss Andrew Abdo said any player that doesn’t travel with the squad would have to spend two weeks in quarantine if they subsequently head to Queensland.
Lomax and Alvaro are in isolation until Sunday, meaning they can’t travel until next week at the earliest.
“Once you’re off the COVID hold, then they’re obviously free to play, but we now have a situation where their team is located in another state, with borders closed,” Abdo said.
“There will be have to be separate arrangements made for any players – not just them – to re-enter the bubble, [they] will have to be worked through a quarantine system which will be separate to those that have already begun that process.”
Abdo indicated around 800 players, officials and family members could travel to Queensland, but he’s confident there won’t be a repeat of the recent COVID-19 breaches like that of the Dragons and Queensland forward Jai Arrow.
“If someone steps out of line and breaches this in quarantine there’ll be significant implications, not just for them from a disciplinary perspective, but for the quarantine process, and essentially, the system, we’re putting in place,” Abdo said.
“I think everyone gets it. We’re going to be putting in extra measures in place to make it even easier for us to keep those inside these exclusive facilities safe and secure.”
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