Quarantined Broncos play on

Brisbane will play Canterbury tomorrow night despite all their players and staff being held in quarantine all week.

The club were expecting not to receive the go-ahead for the NRL clash, as the team have had no preparation all week following a swine flu outbreak.

The players of both Brisbane squads and the associated staff, including media manager Trad McLean, have been in quarantine all week awaiting guidance from the relevant authorities following tests.

Broncos chief executive Bruno Cullen said: “Today when the Queensland Health Service made the decision that the players would be able to play despite the quarantine, we were a bit caught out.

“We had happily followed their instructions to the letter all week so thought there would be no chance of playing the game tomorrow night.

“For the majority of the players the 72-hour quarantine was not going to finish until 10pm tomorrow night.

“Our medical staff also indicated that they thought with no preparation all week there was a real risk of injury due to the physicality of the game that is the NRL.

“So when we made that indication to the NRL it was because we were of the opinion that it would just be impossible to play tomorrow night and some sort of compromise would be better for the players.

“But after talking through the issue more tonight with the management, club directors and coaching staff, we thought if the players wanted to play, we would let them play.

“That is why we have made the decision to support them tomorrow night.

“We hope the Broncos fans will also come out and support them because it is going to be a huge effort just to have got a squad on the field.”

Bulldogs Origin star Ben Hannant was the first confirmed player to contract the swine flu virus following last week’s Origin clash. He was quarantined from his team mates, but had not returned to training as Canterbury had their bye week last weekend.

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