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New dad Jacks city bound: Ryley among several players stuck in isolation

Ryley Jacks is stranded in Queensland and another six members of the club’s NRL squad are in isolation after attending a training session with the Storm’s Brisbane Tigers feeder team.

A Warriors staff member and four players are also isolating after training with Redcliffe in preparation to play a Colts fixture for the Dolphins but the impact on the squad would have been far worse if others hadn’t been stopped from flying to Brisbane last Saturday.

Jacks was among seven Storm players in Brisbane preparing to play for the Tigers against Townsville Blackhawks last weekend when the Queensland capital was placed on high alert due to a COVID-19 outbreak and they were withdrawn from the match.

While the others, who included Isaac Lumelume, Marion Seve, Dean Ieremia, Aaron Pene and Tagiolupe Tivalu, flew back to Melbourne, Jacks stayed as his partner was due to give birth and he is now unable to leave after Brisbane entered lockdown on Monday.

Storm football manager Frank Ponissi said the players who had returned to Melbourne were unable to train or mix with the rest of the squad.

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"They got tested and are all negative," Ponissi said.

"They are now waiting for the COVID-19 test results of their Brisbane Easts teammates who they trained with last week. Once these come through negative they can rejoin the group. Hopefully tomorrow."

Warriors players Kane Evans, Rocco Berry, Hayze Perham, Jackson Frei, Josh Curran and Pride Petterson-Robati were due to play for Redcliffe in last Sunday’s Intrust Super Cup clash with Norths Devils but they did not travel to Brisbane as scheduled.

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A handful of younger players are in isolation awaiting the results of Redcliffe players they trained with before being withdrawn from the Colts fixture but the main concern for Warriors coach Nathan Brown is the game time his players are missing.

Evans is yet to play for the Warriors as Brown wanted to ease the former Parramatta prop back from a knee injury and after playing for Redcliffe in the QRL's opening round, it is uncertain when he will play again.

Brown said up to 13 players not required for Sunday’s SCG match against Sydney Roosters had been due to play for Redcliffe this weekend.

"We’ve got younger players playing for Redcliffe and players who aren’t in our top 19 so we have got a group of players now who can’t play, like last year, so it has an effect," Brown said. "That is probably the most disappointing thing.

"We had four or five who went up there early to play Colts and because they were up there they are now quarantined so they haven’t been able train and they are in lockdown at the moment until everyone has been cleared who came into contact with them.

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"The other players who were going to play in the Q Cup against Norths hadn’t caught the plane so they were actually not allowed to go.

"We have had a small amount of players who have been affected because they are in quarantine but obviously [there was] a large number of players who didn’t get a game of footy on the weekend and won’t get a game for the next few weeks.

"Coming off the back of last year, the players themselves missed a whole season of footy so you would think that getting some games this year is important for them, let alone as a back-up for any club."