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Bati Winger Leaves Home Due To Biosecurity Measures

Vodafone Fijian Bati and Canterbury Bulldogs Marcelo Montoya has emerged as one of the first National Rugby League (NRL) players to be forced out of the family home and into temporary accommodation.
07 May 2020 14:32
Bati Winger Leaves Home Due To Biosecurity Measures
Marcelo Montoya (middle) is hugged by Eloni Vunakece and Kevin Naiqama after the Vodafone Fijian Bati scored an upset 4-2 win over New Zealand at the 2017 World Cup in Eden Park, Auckland.

Vodafone Fijian Bati and Canterbury Bulldogs Marcelo Montoya has emerged as one of the first National Rugby League (NRL) players to be forced out of the family home and into temporary accommodation. This is because his mother works in aged care.

The Sydney Morning Herald confirmed that the player was Montoya although the Bulldogs did not name him. However, the club confirmed that one of their players had moved to satisfy the strict biosecurity measures the game has adopted. This is to ensure the May 28 competition restart is not jeopardised.

The big questions now for the Bulldogs, however, are where does Montoya move to, and who will foot the bill?

The players have already taken a pay cut and cannot be expected to pay any new rent, while Canterbury has no cash coming in because of the shutdown of all leagues clubs.

Montoya’s mother works at an aged-care facility, but not Anglicare’s Newmarch House in Caddens where 66 staff and residents have tested positive to COVID-19 and 15 people have died.

The 24-year-old Fijian international has been in a long-term relationship but is not moving in with his girlfriend.

Clubs were meant to resume training on Tuesday but that was delayed until Wednesday so clubs and players such as Montoya could make alternative arrangements.

“Like most clubs we have a handful of players and staff who have individual cases to work through, but the most pressing one involves one of our players whose mother works in an aged-care facility, and will likely have to look at alternative accommodation,’’ Bulldogs boss Andrew Hill told Sydney Morning Herald.

“What they would like him to do is find accommodation with his own bathroom and bedroom.

“But that becomes problematic because you can’t get a hotel room, and if another player on our 50-person list doesn’t have a suitable spare room and bathroom, what do we do?

“We’re currently working through that process with the NRL and biosecurity people.’’

The Lautoka-born utility back played for the Bati at the 2017 Rugby League World Cup. Edited by Sereana Salalo

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