Rugby League-Queensland's snap lockdown forces NRL postponement

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(Reuters) - Australia's National Rugby League (NRL) postponed three matches due to be played on Saturday after authorities in Queensland state imposed a snap lockdown to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

St. George Illawarra Dragons' meeting with South Sydney Rabbitohs, the Newcastle Knights' encounter with the Canberra Raiders and Melbourne Storm's clash with the Penrith Panthers will not go ahead as scheduled.

The lockdown raised doubts over whether two fixtures due to be played on Sunday will go ahead.

"The NRL respects the decision of the Queensland government to keep the community safe and healthy following local transmission of COVID-19 in southeast Queensland," the body said in a statement.

"The NRL is continuing discussions with the Queensland Government to possibly play matches tomorrow."

NRL teams moved to Queensland earlier in the month in an attempt to limit disruption to the competition due to lockdowns that had been imposed in New South Wales and Victoria following a jump in COVID-19 cases in both states.

"There will be no football matches," Queensland chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said, according to Australian media.

"So, no community sport, no professional sport, nothing for the next three days, starting as of 4 p.m. today."

(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Richard Pullin)

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