ALBURY Thunder president Rick O'Connell concedes there is only a 'very slim' chance of Sunday's Group Nine clash against Kangaroos going ahead.
The Thunder's season has again been thrown into disarray due to COVID-19 restrictions with the latest hurdle being the removal of Wagga from the 'border bubble'.
Albury were forced to forfeit every grade of last weekend's clash against Gundagai, bar leaguetag, for the same reason, with the town not included in the border bubble.
The removal of Wagga on Tuesday has now made life more difficult for the Thunder.
"It certainly does because it's a bit like last weekend when we played against Gundagai, and I think it's happening in other sports as well, it means anyone of our players that works in Victoria, or crosses the border to do anything in Wodonga, can't go there for 14 days (after being in Wagga)," O'Connell said.
"They wouldn't be able to cross the border."
O'Connell can't see how the Thunder meet their commitments against Kangaroos at Equex Centre on Sunday.
"The way the rule stands, it is impossible for us to fulfil our commitments. We can't go to Wagga, as simple as that," he said.
"Obviously we'd rather play but you can't ask guys to give up work for a game of footy. These things are out of our control at the moment."
The Thunder have been in discussions with Group Nine and will send them a detailed list of the number of players and officials affected by the border bubble.
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"We're putting a list together at the moment, across all grades of how this rule that has been put in place by the Victorian government, how it impacts our entire club. Not just the playing staff but also the off-field, your runners, everything like that," O'Connell said.
"There is, I believe, a NSW rule in place that if a club is impacted too much by the COVID rules of the day, then there's the possibility it could be called a nil-all draw across the grades.
"We'll return all the information through to Group Nine as quick as we can."
O'Connell estimates only about 10 players would be available should the Thunder be forced to play outside of the border bubble.
But in positive news for the competition going forward, he is confident the Thunder will be able to fulfil their commitments for the remainder of the year.
The Thunder should be able to host home games with few visiting players expected to be impacted by border bubble.
"It is a mess unfortunately," he said.
"If Kangaroos were coming to us, it wouldn't be a problem. Tumut coming to us, Brothers coming to us, it's only our guys. Although I'm not 100 per cent sure, there could be the odd tradie from other clubs, depending who they are working for, they may have to go into Victoria.
"We've got the bye the week after, that's probably the only thing that buys us some time. Then we've got two home games so we should be able to finish the season's commitments at least.
"We've got two teams that might make finals so if those games are played outside the bubble, I don't know what's going to happen there. That's over a month away, let's hope something has improved by then."
One way of Sunday's game going ahead could be for Kangaroos to host their home game at Greenfield Park. O'Connell conceded it is a possibility but will wait for more information from Group Nine.
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