The AFL has been forced to make changes to the opening two rounds of the AFLW fixture in a bid to navigate border restrictions around the country.
Ahead of the season kick-off next week, the league announced adjustments on Friday to two matches in the opening round and four matches in the second round.
While the season-opener between Collingwood and Carlton at Ikon Park on January 28 remains unchanged, the league has swapped the match-ups between Melbourne, Adelaide, West Coast and Gold Coast in the first round.
The Suns will now play the Demons at Metricon Stadium on Saturday, January 30, while the Eagles will now host the Crows in Perth that evening.
Melbourne had originally been slated to host Adelaide at Casey Fields and the Suns were due to host the Eagles at Metricon Stadium.
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The AFLW has changed its fixture for Rounds 1 and 2. Picture: Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
In round two, the GWS Giants will now take on the West Coast Eagles at Norwood Oval instead of Melbourne and Collingwood will play Gold Coast at Victoria Park instead of Fremantle as originally scheduled.
Melbourne will now meet Richmond at Casey Fields instead of GWS and Adelaide will take on Fremantle at Norwood Oval instead of the Suns.
The AFL said it continued to closely monitor the situation involving borders and would take advice from public health officials and medical experts before announcing further rounds of the revised fixture in the coming weeks.
AFL head of women’s football Nicole Livingstone said the revised fixture gave the league maximum flexibility to ensure the least disruption for all clubs and players.
She added the league was committed to delivering a full AFLW season.
“The adjustments made to the first two rounds provides certainty into the early part of the season and allows the competition to remain as adaptable as possible as the season progresses in a constantly changing environment,” Livingstone said.
Carlton will kick off the AFLW season. Picture: AAP ImagesSource:AAP
“Throughout the planning process we listened to and worked closely with each stakeholder to ensure the best possible outcome for everyone in the game. We openly acknowledge there are unique challenges and recognise the non-football commitments of both AFLW players and staff and through this open dialogue we know the AFLW community remains determined to work through them to achieve a full season.
“While COVID-19 continues to impact the community, the health and welfare of our players and the community remains the priority and we remain committed to delivering a full season in a safe manner.”
The AFL had scheduled a nine-round home-and-away season plus a three-week finals series for the women’s league in 2021.
All matches will be fully ticketed for the first time this year.
Originally published asAFLW’s updated fixture revealed
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