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Norm Provan dies aged 88

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Rugby league’s 13th Immortal, Norm Provan, has died aged 88.

The second-rower known as Sticks played 256 matches for the then-St George Dragons and was a key part of the side who won an astonishing 11 straight premierships between 1956 and 1966.

The famous photo of Norm Provan (left) and Arthur Summons taken after the 1963 NSWRL grand final.Credit:John O’Gready

It was one of those grand finals, in 1963 against Western Suburbs, that provided the most lasting image of Dragons captain Provan and his Magpies counterpart Arthur Summons.

Taken by Herald photographer John O’Gready, the image known as The Gladiators became synonymous with rugby league and has adorned the NRL’s premiership trophy for decades. Summons died in May last year aged 84.

The Dragons confirmed Provan’s death on Wednesday night and are expected to comment further later on Thursday.

Born in Urana in the Riverina in 1932, Provan also played 14 Tests for Australia and represented NSW on 16 occasions.

Provan stands all among St George fans after the 1965 grand final win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Provan stands all among St George fans after the 1965 grand final win at the Sydney Cricket Ground.Credit:Fairfax Media

He was bestowed the game’s highest honour in 2018 when he was named an Immortal alongside Dave Brown, Frank Burge, Mal Meninga and Dally Messenger.

Bob Fulton, one of the original 1981 class of four which included former Provan teammates Reg Gasnier and Johnny Raper, died in May aged 74.



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Australiya

Former Japanese raider Keiai Nautique stakes Cox Plate claim as field takes shape

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At least 10 horses are certain of lining up in the Cox Plate.

Imports State Of Rest and Gold Trip are guaranteed starts, as are Zaaki, Verry Elleegant, Mo’unga, Anamoe, and Probabeel.

Epsom placegetter Dalasan, Caulfield Guineas runner-up Captivant, and New Zealand star Callsign Mav are also likely to get the tick of approval, leaving four more spots up for grabs if the race committee wants a full field of 14.

Sydney jockey James McDonald is on his way to Melbourne to ride the $3.20 favourite Zaaki in Saturday’s $5 million major, with Craig Williams on $4 second favourite Anamoe.

Superstorm, who won the exempt Feehan Stakes, is likely to bypass the Cox Plate for the Cantala Handicap on Derby day, while Colette and Forgot You will also be considerations.

Colette won Saturday’s Tristarc Stakes over 1400 metres and if Godolphin elects to race her, she’ll definitely get the tick of approval, while Forgot You won the 1600-metre Stutt Stakes. The New Zealand-trained Elephant is also still in the Cox Plate entries.

Incentivise, winner of Saturday’s Caulfield Cup, has all but been ruled out of a Cox Plate berth. Hungry Heart also won’t run; she’s more likely to contend the Empire Rose or the Golden Eagle.

Craig Newitt has been booked to ride Keiai Nautique in the Cox Plate. The Japanese import finished fifth in last year’s group 1 Yasuda Kinen, won by Gran Alegria, finishing two lengths off runner-up Almond Eye.

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Australiya

What are the new rules for Melbourne and the regions and when do they apply?

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Groups of up to 15 people will be allowed to get together in a public gathering and, again, vaccination is recommended but not mandatory.

Travel limits

There will be no limit on travel within metropolitan Melbourne but travel to regional Victoria will not be permitted.

There will be no curfew and no limit on reasons to leave the home.

Reduced quarantine

Masks

Masks will still be required when leaving the home. The existing exemptions will apply.

Retail

General retail will be open for outdoor service only plus click and collect.

Hairdressing will be open for up to 5 fully vaccinated people.

School and childcare

The staggered return to school will commence on Friday, earlier than planned previously.

Early child education and childcare will be open for children of vaccinated parents.

Hospitality

Venues will be open for indoor food and drink service but only for a maximum of 20 fully vaccinated customers.

The previous plan for opening would have restricted venues to 50 fully vaccinated people outside and the new 20 people indoor limit is on top of that allowance.

“There will be density limits but it is again something extra, it is something meaningful that we can do at this point,” he said.

Entertainment venues will be allows 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors.

Sport and recreation

Outdoor community sport will be allowed again for training only (no competition) for the minimum number required.

Outdoor swimming pools will be open for up to 50 fully vaccinated people.

Zoos will open at 25 per cent capacity for fully vaccinated visitors, amusement parks will open for 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors only and tours will also be allowed for up to 50 fully vaccinated people outdoors only.

Ceremonies

Weddings will be allowed for up to 20 fully vaccinated people or 10 unvaccinated people indoors and 50 people fully vaccinated or 20 people unvaccinated people outdoors subject to density limits.

Funerals will be allowed for up to 20 fully vaccinated people or 10 unvaccinated people indoors and 50 people fully vaccinated or 20 people unvaccinated people outdoors subject to density limits.

Religious ceremonies will be allowed for up to 20 fully vaccinated people or 10 unvaccinated people indoors and 50 people fully vaccinated or 20 people unvaccinated people outdoors subject to density limits.


Regional Victoria

There were some updates to the settings in the regions too.

Private gatherings will be allowed for up to 10 people including dependents with vaccination highly recommended for anybody over 12 years of age.

Public gatherings will be allowed for up to 20 people including dependents with vaccination highly recommended for anybody over 12 years of age.

Outdoor venues will be allowed up to 100 fully vaccinated people and 20 people unvaccinated.

Indoor settings, such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas and gyms will be allowed up to 30 fully vaccinated people and 20 people unvaccinated.

All school students will return to school on Friday.

More to come



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Travel from New Zealand’s South Island to reopen as quarantine-free flights with Singapore discussed

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Mr Hunt said international travel would resume in three phases: the first, already announced by NSW, allowing fully vaccinated Australians to return, and allowing citizens to leave. The second is for priority visa holders, including students and priority workers. Mr Hunt said the second phase was still being worked on with states and territories but was “ultimately a Commonwealth decision”.

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The third phase would be allowing fully vaccinated international travellers including tourists into Australia. Mr Hunt did not tie any of these phases to vaccination rates. However, under the national reopening plan capped entry numbers for priority visa holders would be introduced once the country enters phase B of the plan after 70 per cent of the eligible population is fully vaccinated.

“We’ll obviously review the epidemiology both in Australia and globally … to look at when it is safe and appropriate for unvaccinated travellers to be able to enter Australia,” Mr Hunt said.

So f ar, nearly 85 per cent of Australians aged 16 and over have had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 67.8 per cent are fully vaccinated. More than 95 per cent of people aged 60 and over have had one dose, and more than 80 per cent of that cohort have had second shots.

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Australia has also signed deals for two new COVID-19 treatments, one of which will start arriving in the country this month.

The Commonwealth has purchased 15,000 doses of the coronavirus antibody-based therapy ronapreve from Roche Products. Professor Kelly said the drug will be used to prevent severe infection, particularly among unvaccinated people who contract the virus. The first supplies are expected to be available by the end of October, pending medical regulator approval.

The Commonwealth has also secured an agreement for 500,000 courses of Pfizer’s antiviral drug, which is still undergoing clinical trials but is expected to help reduce the severity of illness in people who have contracted COVID-19.

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