The Gold Coast SUNS on Monday had the full list of players return to training at the Austworld Centre and Metricon Stadium.

SUNS CEO Mark Evans said that with the exception of Irishman Luke Towey, who remains overseas, the squad was excited to be back in albeit different circumstances.

“The players will train in small groups of eight or less,” Evans said.

“There are some stringent social restrictions on them when they’re outside of here and outside of their home. 

“They will be tested twice per week for COVID-19 as well as screened by our medical officers every day.

“(We’re) back cautiously, particularly to make sure that we get this season underway and hopefully uninterrupted from here.” 

The AFL last week announced interstate teams from South Australia and Western Australia would relocate to the Gold Coast for training and matches.

Evans confirmed Port Adelaide and Adelaide would fly in to the Gold Coast ahead of full contact training beginning next Monday.

West Coast and Fremantle would soon follow, conducting their full contact training in Perth before travelling to the Gold Coast prior to the June 11 restart date. 

“We’ve been working very hard with the AFL and with those clubs to make sure that we could support them and encourage them to come this way,” Evans said. 

“We said to them that if they decided to base themselves here that we’d have enough ovals and enough logistics and man support to be able to help them with their operations. 

“We think it will bring millions of dollars towards the local economy and it will remind the rest of Australia just how beautiful the Gold Coast region is.”

The introduction of the interstate teams to the Gold Coast would ensure Metricon Stadium hosts multiple matches in the opening rounds of the fixture. 

Evans said it would also give the SUNS flexibility when looking to schedule “match simulation” sessions in lieu of state league matches being suspended for AFL clubs. 

“There’s now more options for us than just the Lions with five clubs essentially being based on the Gold Coast,” he said. 

“We might be able to get some other match simulation activities happening with them for their players who aren’t selected as well.”