NRL boss keeping close eye on swine flu - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL boss keeping close eye on swine flu

By Ed Jackson and Ian McCullough 09/06/2009 07:25:21 PM Comments (0)

NRL chief executive David Gallop has refused to rule out the postponement of matches as the game's swine flu scare deepened with Wests Tigers captain Robbie Farah the latest player to be quarantined.

Gallop admitted matches could be called off if the problem deepens further, with several players and officials already on precautionary quarantines across the competition.

Farah was absent from Tigers training on Tuesday but coach Tim Sheens says his quarantining is not a cause for concern.

"Robbie is not training today ... the doctor has had a good look at him and there is not a great deal of problem, but we are not training him today and are waiting to see what the medical staff think in 24 hours," Sheens said.

"He is not showing any symptoms, it's just a precaution."

So far Bulldogs prop Ben Hannant is the only player to have tested positive for the H1N1 virus, after showing flu-like symptoms while with the Queensland State of Origin squad in Melbourne last week.

The former Brisbane player has been in quarantine on the Gold Coast but his coach Kevin Moore on Tuesday said Hannant will definitely line-up against his old club on Friday at Suncorp Stadium.

But the Broncos are one of the most affected clubs in the NRL with Maroons players Karmichael Hunt, Sam Thaiday, Justin Hodges and Darren Lockyer all quarantined along with Blues halfback Peter Wallace.

Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen, expecting test results from his players on Wednesday morning, expressed his fears if any of the players are found to have the virus.

"It is obviously a huge distraction, because we don't know if it is going to end there," Cullen said.

"I don't mean to be dramatic, but if one of them comes through as positive what does that mean?

"Does that mean the whole team has to stand down for 72 hours, if that's the case that takes us past Friday night."

Gallop confirmed matches may have to be postponed, revealing a positive test result for NSW trainer Tony Ayoub would have forced Monday night's match between Gold Coast and St George Illawarra to be called off, due to the number of Blues playing.

"There was certainly an issue around Tony Ayoub's test," he said.

"If his test had come back positive then there was certainly a possibility the game wouldn't have gone ahead.

"It's a concern (matches being called off) but as I said we can only take advice from the public health authorities and that's what we're doing."

Not all the rugby league community seems concerned with the swine flu problems, with Parramatta forward Nathan Hindmarsh saying he had no fears about going on the field this weekend.

"No definitely not, I've only got kids to worry about if they get crook from it," Hindmarsh said.

"Myself I think I'd be able to handle it, I'm not worried about playing against blokes that have got it, if they do have it."

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