The NRL has been placed on its last warning by the Queensland government, with the season now dangling by a thread.
The Queensland bubble has seen the competition able to continue even with Sydney and Melbourne both plunged into lockdowns due to escalating COVID cases.
But with yet another bubble breach reported last night, although yet to be confirmed, against Penrith and New South Wales hooker Apisai Koroisau, the fed-up Queensland government are just about at the end of their line.
The NRL integrity unit are currently investigating Koroisau's reported breach, according to the reports.
#BREAKING: Dr Young has given the NRL an ultimatum. She says if there’s one more breach from players - the entire competition will be booted out of the state. @10NewsFirstQLD pic.twitter.com/u8ltF5ivCj
— Johnpaul Gonzo (@JohnpaulGonzo) July 22, 2021
It may hardly come as a surprise to those at NRL headquarters, however, given it was mentioned well over a week ago now that players and staff within the bubble must behave to remain in the state.
The NRL relocated to Queensland two weeks ago ahead of Round 18 in a mad dash to save the season, with players and staff from 13 clubs - all those in Sydney, the Warriors, Raiders, Knights and Melbourne Storm - shifted north to avoid the COVID outbreak and lockdowns.
All players are currently in a tight two-week quarantine period, while families will also be able to move to the NRL bubbles after two weeks in their own bubble.
But with breaches mounting, the Queensland government may not let the NRL stay long enough to reach the two weeks if there is another breach.
News of Koroisau's breach follows that of Jai Arrow's State of Origin breach, which led to 14 days in isolation and a $35,000 fine.
The NRL have also had to deal with a breach from Cronulla centre Josh Dugan, a breach from the Canterbury Bulldogs, and the Dragons' now infamous house party which led to Paul Vaughan having his contract torn up, and 12 players being suspended for one week, as well as financial penalties to the entire group.
Should the Queensland government opt to boot the NRL out of the state, it's likely the season would have to be suspended until the COVID situation in Sydney could be brought under control, and borders re-opened between the states.
ARLC chairman Peter V'Landys has said previously that the season will continue at all costs, but the NRL's options are fast running out, with Queensland being the last open rugby league city capable of hosting the competition at this time.
The NRL had originally planned for four weeks in the bubble, however, with COVID cases still climbing in Sydney and the talk of even tighter lockdown restrictions on the way, it's looking more and more likely that the NRL will need to complete the season in the sunshine state.