Souths veteran Benji Marshall is at risk of being locked out of his side’s Covid-19 bubble after remaining in Sydney when the Rabbitohs flew to Queensland via a chartered flight this week.
As the NRL’s mass exodus from Victoria and NSW got underway, Marshall was given an exemption to stay behind to spend time with his wife and newborn baby girl.
Marshall’s wife, Zoe, gave birth to Ever, the couple’s second child, last month.
A post shared by Benji Marshall (@benji6marshall)
Marshall and his family had been due to fly to Queensland this weekend, however, the NRL informed players on Thursday night that the Queensland Government had backflipped on its plan to allow families into the state, leaving Marshall in limbo.
“The Queensland Government has tonight advised that they will not provide an exemption for families from Greater Sydney to travel to the Gold Coast on Saturday,” CEO Andrew Abdo wrote in a letter to players.
“It means you will not be travelling as planned on Saturday, but it does not mean you will not be able to reach Queensland.”
A Rabbitohs spokesperson told NCA NewsWire on Friday the club was still determining whether Marshall could join his teammates, who are in Queensland for at least a month amid Sydney’s Covid-19 outbreak.
The club is currently working with relevant authorities to confirm when and if Marshall would be permitted to enter the state.
Marshall has proven a handy pick-up for the Rabbitohs this season, usually coming off the bench as a utility player. Picture: Jason Obrien / NRL PhotosSource:Supplied
“(Marshall) is stuck there in Sydney, he was planning to come up with his wife and children,” South Sydney captain Adam Reynolds told reporters on Friday.
“I’m not too sure what’s going to happen now, we haven’t been updated. I think he’s still just finding out where he sits with all of this.”
Marshall joined the Rabbitohs this season after being overlooked for a new contract at the Wests Tigers, the club where he is the highest pointscorer and second-most capped player ever.
He moved to Redfern and linked up with coach Wayne Bennett, whom he played under at the Broncos in 2017, on a one-year-deal.
At 36, Marshall is currently the league’s oldest player and it remains to be seen whether he will play beyond 2021.
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