BREAKING: NRL on alert as COVID outbreak has Brisbane Grand Final in doubt

The 2021 NRL is on alert and could be forced to move Sunday’s grand final after a COVID outbreak in Brisbane.

The decider between the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Penrith Panthers is meant to be played at Suncorp Stadium, however the governing body is in talks over the implications of the outbreak.

Channel 9’s Jess Millward reported on Tuesday that the NRL and Queensland Government were having “crisis talks” with ARL Commission boss Peter V’landys with Townsville being pencilled in as the potential new location for the grand final.

It comes after at least two locally acquired cases were recorded in Brisbane.

“We are talking to the government,” V’landys told the Courier Mail.

“At this stage it is not a concern but we will know more as the day unfolds.

“The grand final won’t stay at Suncorp if there is a lockdown, but at this stage there isn’t one, so we have to hope and pray there isn’t a lockdown.”

V’landys said Townsville was “Plan B” if the Queensland government blocked the grand final going ahead in Brisbane.

“There’s two cases but they are husband and wife so hopefully it can be well contained.

“We will see what happens later today. I don’t have too much information at this stage.”

Channel 9’s Danny Weidler said the next 48 hours are crucial.

“Privately NRL not too concerned- but obviously can change if Qld Govt get further information and feel a lockdown is necessary,” he tweeted.

“As they say - next 48 hours is important.”

The NRL grand final was to be played at Sydney’s Stadium Australia, however after the competition relocated to southeast Queensland due to the Great Sydney outbreak, Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium was locked in as the new location.

More than 50,000 people are expected to turn out for Suncorp’s maiden NRL grand final.