The Newcastle Knights have had their last training session for 2021, with the club electing to cease all football operations until after the Christmas break.
The Knights were sent home from training on Monday as a COVID cluster gripped the region.
It was started at The Argyle Nightclub and has spread rapidly, spawning over 200 cases of 650 patrons who were in attendance.
While none of the Knights' players or staff were in attendance at the venue, the club yesterday announced development player Chris Vea'ila had tested positive for COVID.
The club had previously confirmed the remainder of players had tested negative and were due to return to training today, however, with the situation in Newcastle seemingly getting worse by the day, the club have today released a statement shutting down football operations for the remainder of 2021.
“This was not an easy decision or one we made without a huge amount of discussion, but it was the right call to make," club general manager of football Danny Buderus said in a statement.
“With the current situation here in Newcastle, it was simply far too risky to continue training and we felt this was the appropriate action to take.
“We made the hard call to remove our football operations from our training base and take an early Christmas shut down.
“Our players will be asked to apply good common sense to both their own health and individual training requirements during this period.”
The Knights also hinted there may be a delay in returning to training after the Christmas and New Year break, saying they would work with all relevant bodies to determine the most appropriate time to return to training.