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Warning for rugby union as NRL match called off just hours before kick-off


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Canterbury’s NRL match against the Sydney Roosters has been pushed back to Monday despite Bulldogs forward Aiden Tolman being cleared of coronavirus. It forced the postponement of an NRL game, but the league has survived its first serious COVID-19 scare after Canterbury’s Aiden Tolman was cleared of the virus.


The NRL was forced to move Sunday afternoon’s fixture between the Bulldogs and the Sydney Roosters to Monday night after an evening of high drama on Saturday. Tolman immediately contacted club officials when he was informed a teacher at the school one of his children attends tested positive for coronavirus.

The Laguna Street Public School in Sydney’s south has been closed until June 25, with a warning there’s a possibility other children may have contracted the virus and passed it on.

The development kickstarted a dramatic series of events that began with the Bulldogs alerting the league of the matter late on Saturday night. 

The ARL Commission convened early on Sunday morning when it quickly decided it wasn’t willing to risk a positive test being returned just hours before kick-off.

The Bulldogs-Roosters game was re-scheduled to 7pm on Monday, while Sunday’s St George Illawarra-Cronulla game was brought forward to 4pm.

It is the first time an NRL game has been postponed since a round-10 match in 1997 was delayed six weeks due to rain. 


“We believe the risk is minimal but we’re not going to take the risk,” ARLC chairman Peter V’landys told AAP prior to Tolman’s test.

“The message is we’re not taking any risk with our players, or the community.

“Even though the risk is very low, the risk is not worth taking.”

It is understood Tolman has been ruled out of the clash with the Roosters, while the rest of Bulldogs’ 50-person bubble have been tested as a precaution.


The match is the first to be affected by the virus since the NRL’s return last month, however it remains unclear what the ramifications would be for a positive test.

“Good question. I’ll only deal with what I know at the moment and Aiden has been tested,” Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill said on The Sunday Footy Show.

“The risk is extremely remote.

“At the beginning of this process, everyone in the game gave a really strong commitment to consider the community and follow the safety-first attitude.

“Obviously that’s what we’re all doing.”

The NRL had a biosecurity breach on Friday when a Fox Sports reporter conducted a sideline interview with North Queensland star Valentine Holmes.

The reporter underwent the COVID-19 test, which came back negative.

It is the second time a week a reporter had to be tested after Wests Tigers veteran Benji Marshall greeted a journalist at training with a kiss on the cheek.

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Warning for rugby union as NRL match called off just hours before kick-off