HomeAFPAustralia-France opener could be behind closed doors

Australia-France opener could be behind closed doors

A Covid-19 lockdown in Brisbane could force the first Test in the three-match series against France behind closed doors, but it will not be moved from Suncorp Stadium, Rugby Australia said Friday.

The July 7 clash was already shifted from Sydney, which is working to contain an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Rugby Australia said it would make a decision on ticketing as soon as practical and with the guidance of Queensland state’s chief health officer.

“To fans across Australia, we’re thinking of you during this time and I know the team is desperate to get out there and make you proud of their performance on the field,” said chief executive Andy Marinos.

“We really appreciate your patience.”

While there is hope that the Brisbane lockdown will be lifted by Wednesday, it appears unlikely that a full house of 52,000 will be permitted.

Tickets are on sale for the other two matches, on July 13 in Melbourne and four days later in Brisbane.

As of Friday, residents of Sydney, Brisbane and Perth — around 10 million people — were in lockdown, although Perth’s restrictions were due to lift at midnight.

The French squad are still completing a compulsory 14-day quarantine in Sydney before heading to Brisbane.

“When we arrived here, we knew we had this quarantine to respect. We live well in the group so it’s easy to spend these 14 days together,” said hooker Gaetan Barlot.

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