Friday’s game between Storm and the Broncos in Melbourne is still on for now

Friday night’s Storm versus Broncos clash in Melbourne is expected to go ahead despite Brisbane’s COVID outbreak.

But NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley says the league has several contingency plans in place, including a Sydney double header.

The Broncos season has been thrown into chaos following Brisbane’s three-day lockdown as the team flew to Sydney on Monday afternoon.

Annesley admits there are a host of contingency plans in place, including a double header at Stadium Australia in Sydney alongside the afternoon game between Canterbury and South Sydney.

This double header would be necessary if the Victorian government placed any restrictions on the Broncos entering Victoria.

For now, though, the plan is for the Broncos to play the Storm in Melbourne on Friday night.

“We got the Broncos out of Brisbane, so that provides us with a little bit of breathing space, so we can determine what other measures need to be taken over the coming days,” Annesley said.

“At this stage, the game is in Melbourne and we will wait to see what develops over the next few days.

“We don’t know what is going to happen over the next few days, including how many additional (COVID) cases, but at the moment it is a three-day lockdown.

The Broncos can provide an update on scheduling changes that have been forced by the three-day COVID lockdown being declared in the Greater Brisbane area

“We have a number of plans in place, but I’m not going to expand on those because they could change depending on how the situation changes.”

Annesley stressed the NRL would prefer to relocate a game than suspend play like they were forced to during the height of the coronavirus pandemic last season.

“We will do everything we can to keep the season as scheduled, however we have to balance that against the continuation of the competition,” he said.

“The commissions overriding priority is to not suspend games or rounds.

“We will do whatever it takes to work with the governments to in the best of our ability make sure that our competition continues.”

Annesley expects the commission to decide on Friday’s Broncos versus Storm game in Melbourne in the coming days as they gauge the unfolding coronavirus pandemic in Brisbane and its impact on various states.

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