Collingwood and Geelong off to AFL’s new Perth hub for round seven

Collingwood and Geelong will set up camp in an AFL hub in Perth from round seven, while West Coast and Fremantle will spend a week longer than they had bargained for on the Gold Coast.

The AFL released its round six fixtures on Wednesday night, confirming the Eagles will play Adelaide at the Gabba on Saturday, July 11, with the Dockers to take on Melbourne on the Gold Coast on the same day.

Both WA clubs will then fly home, with the Magpies and Cats to join them for a three-week block of matches at Perth Stadium.

“It’s Collingwood and Geelong’s turn,” Pies president Eddie McGuire said on the Nine Network on Wednesday.

“I expect the first game will be Collingwood and Geelong in front of maybe 30,000 fans over there and then it will be a derby between West Coast and Fremantle with a full house.

“Then everyone will play each other and the last game will probably be Collingwood and the West Coast Eagles two weeks later.

“All up, the Pies and Cats will probably be over there for around 21 days.”

Geelong will play St Kilda at Docklands on Thursday, July 9, in round six and Collingwood will host Brisbane the next evening at the MCG to allow the teams as much time as possible to get to Perth to begin their 14-day quarantine period.

Perth firmed as a likely hub city on Monday when WA premier Mark McGowan announced restrictions on fans attending matches would be lifted entirely from July 18.

The Eagles and Dockers, who have been stationed in the league’s Gold Coast hub since the season restarted, had expected to return home after round five.

But they did receive some good news this week when it was announced they would be allowed to isolate in their homes instead of at a hotel on their return to Western Australia.

The Crows and Port Adelaide played each other at Adelaide Oval in round two before going into the Gold Coast hub.

The Power will take on GWS in Carrara in round six in the early game on Sunday, July 12.

“It is important for us to remain flexible and agile throughout this season,” AFL fixture chief Travis Auld said.

“And the AFL will continue to be led by relevant state governments and medical officials to ensure the game remains safe for everyone involved.”

AAP