COVID restrictions hit Shute Shield with Super stars back in bubble

By MARK CASHMAN

The star value of a number of the Shute Shield’s major clubs have been hit for their Round Five games this weekend with all the Super Rugby players being called back into a COVID bubble.

Gordon, Southern Districts, Sydney Uni, Eastwood, Northern Suburbs and the Hunter Wildfires were coming up with contingency plans on Friday for their games on Saturday.

Souths have been one of the most affected clubs with Joe Cotton, Tetera Faulkner, George Worth and Lucio Sordoni all called back into their Super Rugby franchise bubbles.

Worth and Sordoni (both at the Melbourne Rebels) made their debuts for Souths last week against Norths and coach Todd Louden was hoping to use them against Gordon at Chatswood Oval.

Eastwood coach Ben Batger will need to call up a new No.10 with Tane Edmed crying off and Mark Nawaqanitawase not named in the Shute Shield but likely to have been used off the bench.

Sydney Uni will lose the services of scrum half Henry Robertson while Norths will be without lock Jack Whetton.

The Highlanders, who are having their Back to Tartan day at Chatswood Oval, are likely to not be able to use their hooker Robbie Abel.

Hunter Wildfires did not name Henry Stowers this week in their First XV but he will have to head to Canberra and be in the Brumbies bubble there.

Also under threat is an open training session next week in Sydney’s west.

The Waratahs were scheduled to train with the Western Sydney Two Blues next week but that is now under a cloud.

IMAGE: SERGE GONZALEZ / EASTWOOD RUGBY