ARL Commission chairman Peter V'landys has promised to expedite exemption applications for NRL players' Sydney-based families to ensure they are approved to enter Queensland as soon as possible.
V'landys sympathised with the angst caused by an NRL letter to players and staff in quarantine on Thursday night, advising plans to bring families interstate had been delayed beyond Saturday's initial departure date.
The delay also affects Dragons duo Zac Lomax and Daniel Alvaro, who had been due to fly to Queensland on Saturday after their 14-day COVID-hold lapses, with another two weeks of quarantine to be served in the Gold Coast facilities set aside for families.
South Sydney playmaker Benji Marshall was also due to fly to the Gold Coast on Saturday after staying in Sydney with his wife Zoe, who recently gave birth to their second child. He has been named on the bench for Sunday's clash with Canterbury at Cbus Super Stadium.
"He is no chance this weekend. He is stuck down in Sydney," Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds said. "He was planning to come up with his wife and children. I think he is still just finding out where he sits in all of this."
The Queensland government has requested more detailed information on the hundreds of family members the NRL has proposed to house in two separate hotel quarantine facilities for 14 days on the Gold Coast.
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Chief health officer Jeannette Young confirmed on Friday morning the government was awaiting a more detailed plan from the NRL around the families' relocation procedures and confirmed no blanket denial had been issued.
"They have not been told that the families can't come to Queensland," Young said.
"But we do need a proper plan and that plan needs to ensure that no Queenslander is at risk, and also that the Queensland taxpayer doesn't pay for any of the costs associated with it."
Family members of the Storm's players and staff joined the club contingent travelling north on Thursday to beat Melbourne's latest lockdown, arriving at their Brisbane accommodation at 2am.
V'landys said on Friday significant resources would be devoted to resolving the application issue over the next 48 hours.
"I'm very confident we'll have players wives and the children there," V'landys told 2GB.
"Queensland government is being very careful, it requires more detail individually for each person that's going and that's going to take time.
"We also have to prove that our quarantine facilities are foolproof and we'll do all that in the next two days and then I'm confident the wives will go up there.
"They changed it from initially it was applications as groups but now it's individuals.
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"We'll throw every person at the NRL in making every individual application and we'll get the partners up there as soon as possible.
"I sympathise with [wives and partners] and we'll do everything in our power to get them there as soon as possible."
NRL CEO Andrew Abdo wrote to players and staff on Thursday advising of the travel delay, saying the governing body remains "hopeful you will make it to the Gold Coast within a week."
A NRL charter flight arrived in Queensland on Thursday afternoon ferrying NRL match officials and the likes of Aaron Woods – whose wife gave birth to a baby girl a day earlier – and Jai Arrow – who will serve the final game of is COVID-19 breach suspension this weekend – to their respective hubs.
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However, it is unclear when Cronulla players Will Chambers, Wade Graham and Josh Dugan will be able to join their team-mates in Queensland.
Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robison said it had been difficult to break the news to his players on Thursday night that the arrival of families had been delayed and them then having to speak with their partners.
"A lot of decisions were made around that and that either won’t happen or has been put on hold," Robinson said.
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"People have had to ask for time off work, people have partners who are pregnant and whether they are going to come up or not in early pregnancy, late pregnancy … and then two-month good byes for some people.
"For people to promise families or partners or kids that they are going to see their dad or mum in a couple of weeks and that may not happen is difficult.
"But we also know that to continue to offer the livelihoods that we do to our families we have to work and that is only possibly on a grand scale in Queensland at the moment.
"It is hard and there are all little stories emotionally, but we have got to get on with the show."