REVEALED: New time for Lions, Pies final, prelims, GF pushed back

BRISBANE and Collingwood's rescheduled AFLW qualifying final will be played this Sunday, with the preliminary finals and Grand Final consequently pushed back a week. 

The match between the two sides will still be held at the Gabba, as originally scheduled before a COVID-19 outbreak reduced Collingwood to fewer than 16 available players.

The opening bounce will be at 12:05pm local time.

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The preliminary finals – Adelaide v Fremantle and Melbourne v winner of Brisbane/Collingwood – will now be played on Saturday, April 2, with the Grand Final to be held in an afternoon slot on Saturday, April 9.

The highest-ranked sides of the two preliminary final winners will host the premiership decider.

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Tickets for the qualifying and preliminary finals will still be $10 for adults, with those under 18 able to enter for free.

"We are pleased to be able to provide certainty to the W community and confirm the arrangements for the qualifying final, the preliminary finals and the NAB AFLW Grand Final," AFL general manager of women's football Nicole Livingstone said.

"The health and safety of everyone in the competition remains the highest priority – we have worked closely with Collingwood on the return to play for their program and with the Lions from a fixturing perspective. 

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Livingstone said it was too early to confirm if Collingwood will be able to field a full team of AFLW-listed players, or if it would need to call upon the services of top-up players (five maximum).

She also did not rule out the MCG as a potential AFLW Grand Final venue if Melbourne earned hosting rights.

The Demons will need to win their preliminary final and for Fremantle to beat Adelaide in order for that to occur.

"Any time we can play an AFLW Grand Final on the big stage, on big AFLW venues, we're going to do it," Livingstone said.

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"Clearly, the Crows may have something to say about it being at the MCG, given they finished higher at the end of the home and away, and their preference is for it to be played at Adelaide Oval.

"But if Melbourne can have a great run, going through to a Grand Final, and Adelaide get knocked off, we could be looking at an MCG Grand Final. 

"Yes, the MCG is sacred ground, but if you talk to the Crows, their sacred ground is Adelaide Oval. 

"We now have an 18-team competition, as of season seven, so the excitement about that is we have some Victorian clubs who will also be looking to play at the MCG, so everything we do is about normalising women's roles in Australian rules football. Yes, we have to get onto the MCG, but once we're there, let's normalise the fact women play at these big venues."

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