At a glance:

  • Chief Operating Officer Simon Lethlean says the Saints are excited to return to Thursday night football after the Round 5 fixture was adjusted.
  • St Kilda will meet Carlton on Thursday night at Marvel Stadium, after originally being scheduled for Saturday afternoon at the MCG.
  • Lethlean also said St Kilda would be "ready and willing" to move into a hub if asked by the AFL.

Chief Operating Officer Simon Lethlean says St Kilda will relish the opportunity to play prime-time football for the first time in two years after alterations were made to the Round 5 fixture this morning.

Both the Saints and Blues will come off a five-day turnaround after having their Saturday afternoon clash at the MCG rescheduled to Thursday night at Marvel Stadium.

The decision comes after the Queensland Government amended its fly-in, fly-out exemptions for Victorian teams.

09:45 Mins
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'Thursday night lights': Billings excited for prime-time match

Jack Billings spoke to the media this morning after it was announced our Round 5 match against Carlton would be moved to Thursday night.

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“It’s a positive that we’re on the big stage Thursday night,” Lethlean told SEN.

“We haven’t thought about the advantage or disadvantage, we’re just excited.  Hopefully it is an advantage, it would be great if it is.

For the players to roll in here thinking they’re playing Saturday afternoon and then to find out they’re playing in front of a million viewers, there couldn’t have been enough smiles on their faces.

- Simon Lethlean

As the fixture currently stands, St Kilda will play back-to-back Thursday night blockbusters after this week’s match was brought forward from its original time-slot.

While the AFL last week confirmed the Saints would be playing Geelong and Port Adelaide in Rounds 6 and 7 respectively in Victoria, today’s sudden adjustments to the Round 5 fixture could throw those plans out the window.

With Collingwood and Geelong set to relocate interstate and hunker down in hub life, Lethlean says the Saints would be willing to follow suit, even if a decision gets handed down with short notice.

The Saints are excited to return to Thursday night football. Photo: Corey Scicluna.

“The uncertainty is actually part of the excitement,” Lethlean said.

“We’ve certainly had a Victorian-focussed fixture thus far, so whether it’s fly-in, fly-out or hub life, it’ll be one or both, so we’re certainly ready for that.

That could come as soon as next week, it might be a few weeks off, but our players are ready and willing and so are our staff.

- Simon Lethlean

“Some clubs have done their bit already and we’ll certainly do ours.”

Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory have been thrown about as potential hub options for Victorian sides, with the latter firming as a favourite for one young Saint.

“I think Ben Long’s putting forward his submission to Darwin, so that’ll be well-received by the Long family up in Darwin if we cruised up there,” Lethlean said.

“Again, we think it’s a good chance to get away.  At the moment there’s not much we can do under the protocols anyway, so to actually be able to hang out together in a hub will have its positives.”