It won’t be an immediate reunion with teammates for Houli, with the 32-year old and his family having to serve 14 days of quarantine. He will be allowed to train individually during this time.
Speaking to the Herald Sun, Richmond senior club advisor Neil Balme spoke of Houli’s return and the impact this will have on the injury-plagued Tigers.
“He’s got to spend some time in quarantine but that will work itself out,” Balme said
“He’s always been keen to come up but there’s been other things going on. But it’s quite good for him and us.”
It is understood that the health of Houli’s mother has greatly improved after she was hospitalised after being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month, paving the way for Houli to join the hub.
With Houli’s quarantine set to end of August 13, his earliest chance for selection would be Richmond’s Round 12 clash with Gold Coast on August 17.
In a bid to keep fitness, Houli has been training with some of his younger teammates who have stayed in Melbourne, with many of those now also heading up to Queensland.
“The other kids are going to go up to Queensland as well, apart from those that can’t, which is a few injuries and surgeries and things like that,” Balme added.
Fellow star Tigers defender Shane Edwards will not be joining Houli in Queensland in the immediate future, with his expectant wife still to give birth.
However, Balme is still holding out hope that Edwards will join the club on the Gold Coast.
“We’re pretty confident that he will (come up too), and he wants to,” Balme said.
“But the priority is she needs some genuine support from him so he’s making sure that happens.”