The AFL is set to send Fremantle and Carlton to play in Tasmania this weekend as part of a rescheduled round 16.
Industry sources indicated Launceston is highly likely to host the game with one source saying it was an “80 per cent” chance.
The mass relocation of clubs from locked-down states is on in earnest with West Coast and Fremantle joining Brisbane and Gold Coast in heading to Victoria on Tuesday.
The Brisbane Lions were due to leave Queensland on Wednesday but had their departure brought forward to Tuesday afternoon. Sources said Gold Coast’s match against Richmond is likely to be moved from Metricon Stadium to Victoria. Tigers sources said the game would be played at Marvel Stadium, a boost for Richmond given the initial fixture had them playing on the road. GMHBA Stadium is the other option under consideration.
The Lions are fixtured to face the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Saturday. The South Australian government closed the border to Queensland last Sunday, so it is hoped the Lions’ early move to Victoria will allow them to fly in and out of SA on game day.
The Suns will be staying in Melbourne in order to play the Giants the following week. It would be a GWS home game but sources indicated it was likely to be played in Ballarat.
The AFL was on Monday night cautiously optimistic it would not need to change any further round 16 fixtures. But by Tuesday morning, with Queensland going into lockdown and WA already restricted as of Monday night, it was apparent the fixture would need to change.
The AFL confirmed the four clubs’ move to Victoria in a statement on Tuesday afternoon and general manager of clubs and broadcasting, Travis Auld, said the decision had been made to best manage the evolving situation across the country.