Four AFL clubs facing lockdown, Essendon star isolated

The AFL season is again at crisis point after news emerged Saturday four clubs have been forced to put players and staff into hard lockdown.

Essendon star Andrew McGrath is the only player to be publicly identified in reports.

It has been revealed the injured Bombers midfielder is among a number of players and staff from the Bombers, Swans, Giants and Kangaroos who have been forced to isolate as a result of their attendance at the same tier one exposure site in Melbourne before they flew to Queensland this week.

Fox Footy’s Tom Morris reported one Essendon player and two Essendon staff members have been separated from the rest of the team.

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Zach Merrett and Andrew McGrath.Source:Getty Images

The Swans are reported to have four staff members in isolation, while North Melbourne have one player not currently playing under a Covid-exposure cloud.

The Herald Sun has now reported the players and staff all attended the same tier one venue — the Wallabies-France rugby test at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.

The four clubs travelled to Queensland on Thursday, as did the Bulldogs.

The Swans play the Giants on the Gold Coast on Sunday, while Essendon tackles North Melbourne earlier that day at the same venue in a double-header.

According to reports, the sites visited by the players and staff were only identified as tier one sites after the players had already flown to Queensland.

The affected players and staff have undergone Covid-19 tests and will be put into isolation for 14 days.

Channel 9’s Alicia Muling first identified McGrath is the Bombers player caught up in the storm.

It is another development that threatend to derail the season after reports this week the league is yet to cement the fixture for Round 19 next weekend.

It comes after the MCG’s Members’ Reserve was this week identified as a tier one venue as a result of Covid-19 exposure during the Carlton-Geelong clash last Saturday.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan this week said the league will press on with its Victorian-based matches this weekend.

There are five games set to be played in Melbourne in Round 18, with three of those clashes taking place at the MCG.

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