New Zealand Breaker Dan Trist breaks COVID rules, causes WA border chaos before Perth Wildcats clash

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Craig O'DonoghueThe West Australian
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VideoIt may be delayed, but the Perth Wildcats are raring to go this season.

New Zealand Breakers forward Dan Trist has been forced to self-isolate from his teammates in a bid to avoid next week’s game against Perth Wildcats being cancelled after he met up with a family member from Victoria during the week.

The Breakers tonight lost to Adelaide 94-91 during overtime in South Australia. Trist sat out the game after the club failed to get permission from the NBL for a family member to visit him from Victoria in the build up to the match.

New Zealand will play against the Wildcats at RAC Arena on January 31 and with Victorians unable to enter WA, Trist was immediately considered to be close contact under the state’s border regulations. He can no longer travel to WA next week for the clash without having to quarantine for 14 days.

The entire New Zealand team would have also been unable to travel to Perth if Trist continued spending time with them, forcing him into self-isolation. NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said the incident showed how damaging breaches could be.

“The Breakers have cooperated with the League to ensure that the impact of this oversight on the competition is mitigated,” Loeliger said.

“While it was an inadvertent breach of our protocols, the reality is that Western Australian guidelines preclude him from playing in the State next week, and as such the decision has been made that it is in the best interests of the club that he remain isolated from the team for the next 14 days so as not to jeopardise anyone else’s ability to play freely.

“It is critical that we safeguard the schedule and the competition and all parties concerned have taken immediate steps to ensure that has occurred.”

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