North Queensland Toyota Cowboys CEO Jeff Reibel has provided the following statement after this morning’s announcement of the cancellation of training.
I would like to make very clear, no North Queensland Toyota Cowboys player or staff member breached any Queensland Health order or NRL Apollo protocol. To the contrary it has been the diligence shown by our staff and players and the NRL which has allowed us to reach this outcome today. We have abided by all Queensland Health Orders and Apollo protocol from the NRL.
As stated earlier, Cowboys training was cancelled today after a member of our Apollo Register was deemed to have come in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case at the Townsville Markets on Sunday.
The Cowboys employee was Head Coach Todd Payten.
Todd underwent a COVID-19 test yesterday and is currently in isolation awaiting the result. We have also been instructed Todd will need to remain in isolation for a 14-day period, backdated to Sunday.
Assistant coach Dean Young will act as caretaker head coach while Todd is in isolation.
The two players who travelled to Magnetic Island on Saturday were Tom Gilbert and Griffin Neame. Both players are in isolation awaiting test results. Tom and Griffin will be free to return home once they receive a negative test result.
As a housemate of Tom and Griffin, training squad member Laitia Moceidreke was sent for a COVID-19 test and is in isolation awaiting results.
Strength and Conditioning coach Mark Henry is also in isolation awaiting the test result of a visiting family member who was present on a flight to Townsville linked to a COVID-19 case.
All five Cowboys players and staff in isolation are doing so away from their families.
As the club held a training session Monday, all five came into contact with the remainder of our Apollo registered players and staff, which is why the decision was made today to cancel training and send everyone home until we receive test results.
The Apollo Register consists of our entire NRL squad and 17 football department staff, who abide by the NRL’s Apollo protocols throughout the season.
Our club will continue to work closely with both Queensland Health and the NRL to ensure the safety of the North Queensland community.