Fixture shuffle: Swans set to play home game against Eagles in Geelong
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Sydney are set to play West Coast at GMHBA Stadium in the first match played at the venue for premiership points involving two teams other than Geelong, as the AFL hastily reschedules round 16 due to the COVID-19 restrictions in Sydney.
AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan confirmed on 3AW on Friday that the regional venue was looming as the place where the game between the two non-Victorian clubs would be played.
“There has been discussion about that and that is a strong possibility but it is not finalised,” McLachlan said.
The match was originally scheduled to be played at the SCG but with Western Australia slamming its border with NSW shut and Sydney and the Giants relocating to Melbourne, the venue put its hand up to host the game.
In a rearranged fixture the AFL hopes to confirm on Friday afternoon, it is likely Gold Coast will host Richmond at Metricon Stadium on Thursday night and Geelong will host Essendon at GMHBA Stadium on Friday night.
With crowd capacity in Victoria not being increased to 85 per cent until midnight next Thursday, the AFL was reluctant to schedule a Thursday night game in the state in round 16.
Hawthorn champion Shaun Burgoyne is set to play his 400th game against Port Adelaide if he gets through Sunday’s match against the Giants with the league keen to provide him with a strong send-off, but it is unclear whether that milestone will be enough to secure a primetime slot for the match scheduled for Marvel Stadium.
Collingwood v St Kilda and Melbourne v GWS are two games scheduled for the MCG next week that could be played in the Saturday night slot if the league chooses to schedule Hawthorn in the afternoon.
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