Warriors game moved to Sydney

The Warriors will now play in Sydney this weekend. Photo: Getty Images
The Warriors will now play in Sydney this weekend. Photo: Getty Images
The New Zealand Warriors have had their upcoming match shifted from Melbourne to Sydney.

The National Rugby League has shifted the match due to a spike in COVID-19 cases in the southern Australian city.

Melbourne Storm were to host the Warriors at their home ground on Friday but will instead clash in Sydney, the NRL said on Monday following consultations with biosecurity experts.

"I want to thank the Melbourne Storm players for putting the game ahead of their personal circumstances," NRL acting CEO Andrew Abdo said in a statement.

Victoria state, of which Melbourne is the capital, has recorded double-digit rises in new COVID-19 infections, accounting for nearly 90% of the 126 cases detected nationally over the past week.

"The fact that we have some COVID-19 hotspots in Victoria has made it difficult for our team and visiting teams to continue playing at AAMI Park in the short term," Storm CEO Dave Donaghy said.

The NRL restarted its competition in late-May under strict biosecurity protocols following a three-month suspension due to COVID-19.

Clusters of cases across Melbourne have also put the Australian Football League (AFL) on high alert following confirmation of a COVID-19 infection in a player in the top flight Australian Rules competition.

The AFL match between Essendon and Melbourne Demons was postponed indefinitely on Sunday after Essendon's Conor McKenna tested positive.

The AFL on Monday said it would limit full contact training to small groups at clubs for at least the next four weeks to reduce the risk of infection.

The AFL restarted two weeks ago after the season was suspended in March after one round due to COVID-19.

Australia had reported nearly 7,500 coronavirus cases and 102 deaths as of Sunday.

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