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Bulldogs CEO Andrew Hill has recounted the panicked phone call he received from Aiden Tolman that sparked an NRL match postponement.
Canterbury prop Tolman has a child who attend Laguna Street Public School in Caringbah South, where a teacher tested positive for coronavirus.
Tolman informed his club of a possible exposure risk on Saturday night after the news broke, with the Bulldogs then informing the NRL.
On Sunday, the decision was made to postpone Bulldogs vs Roosters – scheduled for 4.05pm – to Monday night. Tolman took a COVID-19 test, which came back negative.
“Late last night, Aiden Tolman called me in a bit of a panic at about 8pm and said that he’d just received advice from the school that one of the teachers had tested positive, and [asked] what was the next step,” Hill told The Sunday Footy Show.
“[We] immediately worked with the league and at that stage, we weren’t sure of what the outcome was. We thought perhaps it was just that Aiden may have missed the game.
“But clearly overnight and early this morning, we’ve been advised that the risk is too great and we’ve all agreed to postpone the game.”
Hill said that is was unclear what would have happened in the case of a positive test.
“Good question. I’ll only deal with what I know at the moment and Aiden has been tested,” he said.
“Hopefully in the next three or four hours, we’ll get that outcome and we’ll deal with the next step when and if we need to.
“The risk is extremely remote. At the beginning of this process, everyone in the game gave a really strong commitment to consider the community and follow the safety-first attitude. Obviously that’s what we’re all doing.”
Hill said that Tolman was understandably concerned about the school outbreak.
“I think that’s true, as well as the whole family,” Hill said.
“It’s not just about Aiden, he’s got a wife and kids as well. The entire school community, no doubt, would be a little bit anxious.
“We’ll work with Aiden and his family and we’ll provide every assistance we can to keep them all calm and focused and relaxed.”
Hill informed Bulldogs coach Dean Pay of the developments, including the snap postponement on Sunday. All Bulldogs players will be tested for COVID-19.
“Obviously game day is a stressful time and everyone’s really focused on the game,” Hill said.
“We’ve just got to deal with what we have to, everyone understands that it’s safety first. We’ll get the team in, test them all this afternoon and we’ll regroup and get ready to take on the Roosters tomorrow night.”
The Dragons vs Sharks game that was originally scheduled for 6.30pm on Sunday is now the 4.05pm match that will be broadcast free-to-air on Channel Nine.