Qld government agrees to NRL stadium plan

Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast will host five of the eight NRL matches in round 21.
Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast will host five of the eight NRL matches in round 21.

Suncorp Stadium and Cbus Super Stadium have been given the green light to host NRL games this weekend after the league was forced to consolidate grounds for round 21 amid a COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland.

The Queensland government signed off on the NRL's plan for this week's matches which involves playing all eight games out of the two grounds to minimise travel across the state.

Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium will host three games including a double header on Saturday night, while the five others will be played out of the Gold Coast ground with double headers on Friday and Sunday.

It comes after Suncorp Stadium hosted seven straight games in round 20 ,which prompted concerns about the surface holding up under heavy traffic.

The NRL pushed for approval from the government to use two grounds given the plan could be extended beyond this weekend if Queensland's lockdown continues beyond Sunday.

"We're cognisant of wear and tear on playing surfaces, but we're also very much aware of the situation that the state's in at the moment with the COVID-19 outbreak," NRL head of football Graham Annesley said.

"We'll do whatever is required of us to get our games away.

"If we're in this similar situation for (this) weekend only or for multiple weekends we'll do what's required to comply with conditions of government."

Newcastle and Brisbane will open the round at Suncorp Stadium on Thursday night.

A blockbuster double header will be held at the ground on Saturday night with the Sydney Roosters facing Penrith followed by Manly taking on top-placed Melbourne.

Canberra and St George Illawarra will kick off the first of the round's games at Cbus Super Stadium on Friday night followed by the top-four clash between Parramatta and South Sydney.

The Warriors will host Cronulla at the ground for Saturday's first game, with Sunday's double header between Canterbury and Wests Tigers followed by Gold Coast and North Queensland to finish off the round.

Annesley said despite the heavy traffic at Suncorp Stadium over the weekend the surface has held up well.

"The great thing about both Suncorp and Cbus, they're both government run stadiums, they've both got full-time ground staff that work around the clock repairing pitches and making sure they're in as good of a condition as possible to prepare for each event," he said.

"They have all the latest equipment that they need. They're both in excellent condition, they've got great drainage, so they're not the sort of surfaces that cut up easily.

"Of course the more traffic you have on it the more impacted it will be.

"We have no reasons to have concerns about it.

"We want to see playing surfaces having a little rest from time to time but while we have to do this in order to get our games away then that's the way it is."

Australian Associated Press