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Eels centre Will Penisini.

Parramatta's application to select players who exited the club's NRL bubble leading into Magic Round will be assessed by Project Apollo on Monday night.

A discussion about whether to put interstate teams on chartered flights to Brisbane or have them board commercial planes and use masks will also be discussed.

With the NRL reverting to level three COVID-19 protocols after an outbreak in Sydney last week, clubs were advised to pull any players in their top 30 squads from second-tier matches to ensure they would be eligible for Magic Round selection.

But it wasn't a mandatory order and the Eels allowed NRL squad members Ray Stone, Joey Lussick, Michael Oldfield, Jordan Rankin and Will Penisini, as well as development players Nathaniel Roache, Sean Russell and Jakob Arthur, to feature in Friday night's 39-0 NSW Cup win over the Bears.

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All other teams withdrew their top 30 players from lower grade games.

With Dylan Brown and Marata Niukore now suspended after incidents in round nine's NRL clash with the Roosters, Nathan Brown (hip) and Waqa Blake (calf) no certainties to return from injury and Reed Mahoney going through HIA protocols, Parramatta are short on players.

As it stands, they won't be able to name a 21-man squad to face the Warriors on Sunday.

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"Every club was notified last week that if they played players from their NRL squad in second-tier matches that those players would not be able to re-join the NRL squad while ever we were at level three protocols," NRL head of football Graham Annesley said.

"No one knew – and no one still does know – how long that will be for. The decisions about levels of protocols are taken on a day-by-day basis and they're taken based on the best biosecurity advice we can get.

"They're taken based on feedback that we get from various levels of government. And the overall intention of them is not just about Magic Round this weekend, having to take 16 teams to Queensland, but it's about the continuity of the NRL competition.

"We've got a responsibility to try and keep the NRL competition on track. Not missing players, not missing games, not missing rounds because of infection."

Annesley said the Eels' exemption submission would be treated the same as any other application for players to act outside normal health protocols.

"Those applications come one by one to the Apollo committee. We discuss that with our biosecurity experts and then we make a decision based on the risk analysis that comes with that," Annesley said.

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He added that "fairness" could factor into the equation as well given other clubs put their second-tier teams at a competitive disadvantage by removing their NRL squad members on the weekend.

A decision on Parramatta's situation is expected before teams are due to be announced at 4pm on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a call on how interstate teams will travel to Queensland could change any moment based on COVID risk factors.


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