NRL players quarantined due to swine flu

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The Independent Online

Brisbane and North Queensland's State of Origin rugby league representatives have all been quarantined due to swine flu concerns.

The two Queensland National Rugby League (NRL) clubs have been forced to take precautionary action to keep the players away from teammates after Queensland forward Ben Hannant contracted the illness following Wednesday night's opening Origin match in Melbourne.

The stance comes after Maroons team doctor Roy Saunders notified both clubs and ordered the players to be quarantined for 72 hours.

The Broncos had six players involved in the interstate clash while the Cowboys have people isolated from the team, including three players.

Skipper Johnathan Thurston produced a man-of-the-match display for Queensland and back-rower Luke O'Donnell was one of NSW's best, while NQ forward Matt Scott was the Maroons' 18th man.

Cowboys coach Neil Henry and fitness guru Billy Johnstone were also a part of the Queensland coaching staff, and were missing from training on Monday.

Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer, Israel Folau, Karmichael Hunt, Sam Thaiday, the injured Justin Hodges and NSW halfback Peter Wallace didn't train at Brisbane's Red Hill headquarters on Monday morning but were in attendance and Lockyer spoke to the media.

Lockyer confirmed they were quarantined, and had taken Tamiflu medication, as they had come into contact with Hannant last week and believed it was due to Queensland Health regulations.

The three-day isolation affects Brisbane's preparations ahead of Friday night's home clash with the Bulldogs but the Cowboys played down their disruptions as Thurston and O'Donnell weren't due back to train with the team after being given a rest period.

Gold Coast officials are waiting nervously to hear whether the Titans or St George Illawarra Dragons will have their Origin players barred from contesting Monday night's match at Skilled Park.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Warriors had no concerns over the health of club captain and Queensland prop Steve Price, who also played in the opening Origin clash.

The front rower led the Warriors during their 10-18 loss to the Cronulla Sharks in Sydney yesterday.

"I saw Steve before the game and he was fine," Warriors chief executive Wayne Scurrah said.

"We haven't noticed any concerns."

This story was sourced from The New Zealand Herald.