Richmond is set to be without two of its premiership stalwarts in its Queensland hub, with Bachar Houli and Shane Edwards to both remain in Melbourne.
Houli’s wife recently gave birth, while Edwards’ wife is expecting in August, and as a result the pair will still continue to be paid despite not participating in games.
Richmond GM of Football Neil Balme revealed the news that a “couple” of older players would not be making the trip up north along with a few of the team’s younger players.
“There’s a couple (of players) I think that won’t go,” Balme told 3AW on Sunday.
“We’ll probably make a decision on some of our younger guys…there’s a few of our guys that are unlikely to get a game and they’ll be almost wasting their time going up.
“We think we’ll leave them back here with some coaches so they can get genuine one on one improvement. When we’re on the Gold Coast, we’ll be focusing on winning game after game rather than on development.”
Despite previously voicing concerns about being away from home, Jack Riewoldt is not expected to join Houli and Edwards in remaining in Melbourne for the time being.
News surrounding the Richmond duo come as Victorian AFL clubs departed the state this afternoon in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis which saw another 74 new cases announced on Sunday.
Collingwood and Hawthorn have already departed Victoria, while the Western Bulldogs are set to leave for the Gold Coast tomorrow.
Players will be allowed to take their families up to their respective hubs, with Bulldogs star Josh Bruce revealing that he would take his pregnant partner and young daughter up with him.
“If they weren’t allowed to go, (Bruce’s partner) Pip is heavily pregnant and we don’t have any family in Victoria, it would have been a pretty difficult decision to make,” Bruce told the AFL Sunday Footy Show.
“Especially if Pip couldn’t get home to Canberra if the borders were shut and whatnot. It would have been a really difficult one.
“Just really grateful that the AFL has allowed that to happen and we’re obviously going out of our way to keep this season alive.
“I’m really grateful that we’ve been able to do that and I haven’t had to make that really difficult decision.”