THE ROUND five fixture has been flipped on its head with West Coast's clash with Richmond on Thursday night postponed due to a new stance from the Queensland government.


Due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in Victoria, guidelines implemented by Queensland health officials over the weekend will rule against Victorian clubs flying into the state. 

Three games have been changed for this weekend with more expected to impacted in coming weeks.

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This weekend Richmond will instead stay in Victoria to play Melbourne on Sunday at the MCG, while Sydney – who had been scheduled to play the Demons – will play the Eagles at Metricon Stadium on Saturday afternoon. 

Therefore with an opening in the primetime Thursday night slot, Carlton's date with St Kilda scheduled on Saturday afternoon at the MCG has been moved to Thursday and will now be played at Marvel Stadium.


Both Carlton and St Kilda played on Saturday in round four and will now face a five-day break before their clash on Thursday night. 

Given both are tenant clubs at Marvel Stadium, the AFL took the opportunity to move the match to make the most of the ground's availability and roof component.

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Despite Gold Coast needing to fly into Victoria to play Geelong on Saturday, the match will proceed as planned. 

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However, the Suns' round six match against Hawthorn at the MCG is now up in the air given the guidelines from the Queensland government. 

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They state that any Queensland or Queensland-based team who:
- Plays against a Melbourne team in Queensland is required to quarantine after the match for 14 days; or
- Plays in Melbourne is required to quarantine for 14 days on returning to Queensland, or
- Plays in another state against a team who has been in Melbourne in the preceding 14 days is required to quarantine on their return to Queensland.

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It is expected the Suns would spend time playing the Sydney-based clubs in NSW either after round five or six in avoid returning to Queensland.

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said the AFL fixturing team would work in coming days to provide clarity on round six.

Brisbane is currently scheduled to play Collingwood in round six at the MCG. Should that match go ahead, they too would likely spend time in NSW before returning home. The Lions are scheduled to play Sydney at the SCG in round seven.

Melbourne's clash against Fremantle in round six, one that will require the Demons to fly into Queensland and play the Dockers who are in the AFL quarantine hub, is also in doubt.

"Football people love predictability, order and routine. We're all going to have to get used to not having predictability, order and routine," McLachlan said on Monday.

"That is what season 2020 is all about, it's a challenge. Flexibility and agility will be the key traits needed to navigate the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic."

Clubs had a phone hook-up with AFL executives on Monday morning and were told to brace for future quarantine hubs in order to progress the season.

It is understood the likelihood of a hub in the Northern Territory remains on the cards given the NT will open its borders from July 17.


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Thursday, July 2
Carlton v St Kilda, Marvel Stadium (SEVEN), 7.40pm AEST

Friday, July 3
Collingwood v Essendon, MCG (SEVEN), 7.50pm AEST

Saturday, July 4
West Coast Eagles v Sydney Swans, Metricon Stadium (FOX), 1.45pm AEST
Geelong Cats v Gold Coast, GMHBA (FOX), 4.35pm AEST
Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne, Marvel Stadium (SEVEN), 7.40pm AEST
Brisbane Lions v Port Adelaide, The Gabba (FOX), 7.40pm AEST

Sunday, July 5
Adelaide Crows v Fremantle, Metricon Stadium (FOX), 1.05pm AEST
Melbourne v Richmond, MCG (SEVEN), 3.35pm AEST
Greater Western Sydney v Hawthorn, Giants Stadium (FOX), 6.10pm AEST