NRL 2021: North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten self-isolating after close contact with COVID-19 positive case

North Queensland Cowboys coach Todd Payten has been placed into isolation for 14 days, following close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in Townsville.

Payten, 42, will miss the Cowboys' next two matches - against Newcastle Knights on Saturday and South Sydney Rabbitohs on July 9 - and is currently awaiting results of a COVID-19 test. 

The Cowboys have cancelled their Wednesday training session, but chief executive Jeff Reibel says Saturday's match against the Knights will still go ahead, provided all players return negative COVID tests.

Players Tom Gilbert and Griffin Neame, as well as training squad member Laitia Moceidreke, must also self isolate after a trip to Magnetic Island, currently in lockdown until at least Friday.

NZ Warriors are in a similar position, and are currently without Euan Aitken and Josh Curran for their next two games, with the pair also self isolating, after close contacts with a positive COVID case.

Payten was interim coach of NZ Warriors during the 2020 NRL season, following the sacking of former coach Stephen Kearney.

Assistant coach Dean Young will take charge of the side in Payten's absence. 

Join us at 8pm Friday for live updates of the Warriors v St George Dragons NRL clash