“Obviously, having said that, it’s a sort of no risk policy so it’s, obviously, up to the AFL. We will sit tight and wait for the decision.”
Speaking after the Saints’ intra-club clash on Thursday, David Rath, the club’s head of football program, said all parties would be directed by league headquarters.
“That’s in the AFL’s hands. We have to play a game of
footy in that round. Where that is, we don’t know yet. There is a decision still to be made on that and we will work with whatever the AFL gives us,” he said.
“It’s a round of football. If it’s in China, it’s there. If it’s in Melbourne, it’s here. It’s not really front of mind for us at this stage. We will take what the AFL give us in that sense. They are talking to a lot smarter people than we are.”
The AFL has been monitoring the situation for several weeks and has contingency plans. A working group have been in constant contact with the World Health Organisation.
The Saints and Power will take a major financial hit by having to shift the game. The clash against the Power could be rescheduled for a Thursday night in either round 11 or 12.
“Your friends and especially your family are constantly talking to you about it because, obviously, the China the game is a big investment for the club and the AFL,” Billings said.
“We [Saints] are rapt to be a part of it. It’s important to us, obviously. Naturally, you are a bit more interested in it because things might change.”