Brisbane-Collingwood game set for shift to Melbourne

The Brisbane Lions’ game against Collingwood on Thursday night is expected to be shifted to Melbourne, as the AFL scrambles to deal with the lockdown in Brisbane.

Sources familiar with discussions said the broadcaster Channel Seven was expecting the Lions v Magpies game to played in Melbourne, which would mean the players who have remained in Melbourne would simply stay on.

The Lions’ clash with the Pies was originally scheduled for the Gabba on Thursday night.Credit:Getty Images

The match was originally scheduled to be played at the Gabba this Thursday night.

One further reason to move the game – most likely to be shifted from the Gabba to Marvel Stadium – is that the Lions’ players will face issues with training if they return home.

But the Lions would have to fly players down to Melbourne as well, for training and to be available for selection. Ruckman Oscar McInerney was injured during their one-point loss in Geelong, following which the players and football officials were pulled from their bus to the airport and stopped from departing Victoria.

Collingwood have not agitated at all for the game to be shifted, since they have a return game against the Lions late in the season and would prefer that fixture to remain, instead of having a swap of home games. They would rather the game be played at the MCG, not Marvel Stadium, but the latter is viewed as more likely.

The Lions trained at Port Melbourne on Monday morning.

Coach Chris Fagan said the players were beginning to get their heads around the idea of being in Melbourne for longer than initially intended.

“The AFL have yet to declare the game will be in Brisbane on Thursday night. It seems unlikely,” he said.

“We were supposed to be getting in flights [to Brisbane] this afternoon.”

He conceded there would be knock-on issues if the game was played in a “bubble” in Brisbane.

“They [players] are pretty good at the moment. We just need to look forward to the game on Thursday wherever that may be.”

Fagan said it would “make logical sense” for the game to be played at Marvel Stadium and not the MCG, given the clubs are fixtured to play at the MCG later this year.

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