A Queensland player in the topflight National Rugby League has tested positive to swine flu and a total of nine other players including Australia captain Darren Lockyer from two state clubs are under quarantine.
Ben Hannant, a forward for the Sydney-based Bulldogs, contracted the illness after playing for Queensland in last Wednesday’s State of Origin match against New South Wales in Melbourne. Queensland won the match 28-18, the first in the three-match annual interstate series.
In keeping with Queensland Health regulations, the Brisbane Broncos said Monday said six of their players who were on the Origin team with Hannant including club, state and national captain Lockyer would be quarantined for 72 hours and had taken Tamiflu medication as a precaution.
The other Brisbane players Israel Folau, Karmichael Hunt, Sam Thaiday, the injured Justin Hodges and New South Wales halfback Peter Wallace did not train on Monday, but they were in attendance and Lockyer confirmed to local media that they had been quarantined.
Three Queensland State of Origin players from the North Queensland Cowboys as well as Cowboys coach Neil Henry and fitness advisor Billy Johnstone, who were part of the Queensland coaching staff for the Origin match in Melbourne, were also being quarantined.
Brisbane lost 48-4 to Melbourne Storm in Melbourne on the weekend while North Queensland beat South Sydney 46-12 at home.
The Broncos play their next NRL game on Friday at home against the Bulldogs. North Queensland plays St. George Illawarra on Sunday.
On the weekend, the number of confirmed swine flu cases in Australia rose above 1,000, more than triple the number just one week ago, the health department said. The vast majority of the cases 874 were in the southern state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital.