“I want to thank both the Kings and Hawks and all of their players and staff for their patience and understanding as we navigate this latest challenge. We are strongly committed to putting on the best season we can in front of our fans and supporting all of our clubs and players over the coming weeks and months.”

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Loeliger said the league would deal with any potential changes to the fixture but still expected the Kings and Hawks to play 14 home games on their home courts.

NSW recorded eight new cases of coronavirus on Thursday but Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned the state was not yet out of the woods following the outbreak, which has taken hold in Sydney’s northern beaches.

“Both clubs will continue to monitor the situation and work with the NSW government to ensure their loyal members and fans are able to attend home games in a COVID-safe environment,” the Kings said in a statement.

“With reported case numbers continuing to decline in NSW, the move is a precautionary one; it is necessary to ensure the health and safety of the players and staff, but also to allow for ease of travel to other states so both clubs will be available to play their first away games of the season.”

The Hawks are set to play South East Melbourne Phoenix in round one, with the Kings taking on the Perth Wildcats.



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