THE AFLW has been forced into a late fixture change after a huge number of players from the Western Bulldogs and Brisbane Lions were struck down by COVID-19.
Brisbane was due to take on Carlton on Saturday, with the Bulldogs originally set to take on Geelong on the same day.
Geelong will now host Carlton at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday night, with the AFL to fixture a clash between the Lions and Bulldogs when it is safe and practical to do so.
Under the AFLW’s COVID rules, a team must have at least 16 of their 30 primary-listed players plus five train-on players available for selection in order for a match to go ahead.
The fact that a match between the Bulldogs and Lions can’t be scheduled means the clubs have been ravaged by COVID-19.
It was reported earlier this week the Bulldogs were battling a big outbreak.
Before the season started, new Lions skipper Breanna Koenen spoke about the challenge of avoiding COVID-19.
“I’m a hermit at the moment, just sticking to myself and my family and my friends and people who I know who are doing the right thing,” she said.
“It’s pretty stressful and everybody is a little bit anxious at the moment, but we’re doing everything we can to stay fit and healthy and stay isolated as much as we can.
“But we all work, we all have jobs. You can only control what you can control.”
Round two of the AFLW season kicks off on Friday with Richmond hosting Melbourne at the Swinburne Centre at Punt Road Oval.
Both teams, who won in round one, were forced into changes due to having players sidelined through the AFL’s ‘COVID-19 protocols.
The Demons confirmed Shelley Heath, Shelley Scott, Maddi Gay, Casey Sherriff, Sarah Lampard, Maeve Chaplin and Tahlia Gillard were unavailable for selection.
Scott, Gay, Lampard, Heath and Sherriff all played in round one.
Gabby Colvin, Sinead Goldrick, Eliza McNamara and Lauren Magee return after missing round one through the COVID-19 protocols.
Richmond had defender Sarah D’Arcy, livewire Tayla Stahl and recruit Maddie Shevlin ruled out.
The trio joins Emelia Yassir (concussion) and Poppy Kelly (knee) on the sidelines.
(C) AAP 2022