The Age’s Sam McClure has confirmed numerous reports that a Thursday night blockbuster between Collingwood and Richmond is set to restart the 2020 AFL season on June 11.
It is also believed that a South Australian showdown between Adelaide and Port Adelaide will be another blockbuster for the return round after the South Australian premier requested the match remain in Adelaide.
It appears that Richmond have been informed that they are going to play round two on Thursday night and expect to meet Collingwood on field. If that is the case, it will be a rematch of the 2018 preliminary final where Collingwood went on to win.
Collingwood have not been officially informed of the round two match up but are preparing on the basis that they will meet the Tigers in the long awaited return of football. The match is expected to be played at the MCG, obviously without the roar of fans, according to football sources at The Age.
Both the Magpies and Tigers appear to have few injuries on their player list, with the biggest name set to miss the match being Collingwood midfielder Adam Treloar. However, both clubs do not start full-contact training and match simulation until next week.
The AFL will allow the two South Australian clubs to remain in their state by fixturing the Showdown in round two. It will mean both clubs will avoid an earlier relocation to their hub on the Gold Coast.
According to The Age, the South Australian Premier Steven Marshall had called AFL boss requesting the Showdown remain in Adelaide for round two earlier this week. This request is backed by Adelaide and Port Adelaide as it will allow the two clubs to remain home for a little longer.
At the moment, there is little indication the South Australian government will lift its border restrictions, dashing the hopes that the two clubs might not have to relocate to the Gold Coast after all.
The AFL’s free-to-air broadcaster, Channel Seven, will be licking its lips with the two blockbusters tipped to restart the 2020 season. The Magpie-Tiger match up looks certain to be a ratings winner, with the network wanting a big bang to start round two.
It appears that there will be no Western Australian derby, with the West Coast Eagles set to play their round two match on the Gold Coast, either against the Brisbane Lions or the Gold Coast Suns.