Rugby League Immortal Andrew Johns once joked about Covid being ‘kindergarten stuff’ and ‘the least of what [his] body had taken’ – but his quip has come back to bite him now he’s been struck down with the virus and hospitalised.

The 47-year-old father tested positive for Covid-19 over the Christmas period while on a holiday with his family in the Riverina region of NSW

Johns reportedly required medical treatment at the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital – despite joking he had ‘no worries’ about his health when the virus was first found in Australia.

‘This body… Coronavirus is the least of what this has taken,’ he said on an episode of Channel 9’s 100% Footy on March 16, 2020.  

His co-hosts laughed at Johns’ remark about the virus, one adding: ‘Taken a lot of punishment, has it?’

The panelists were discussing the rise of Covid-19, which had only just reached Australian soil but was spreading rampantly overseas at the time.

Johns (pictured with his partner) was holidaying over the Christmas period when he is understood to have contracted Coronavirus

Johns (pictured with his partner) was holidaying over the Christmas period when he is understood to have contracted Coronavirus

Johns (pictured with his partner) was holidaying over the Christmas period when he is understood to have contracted Coronavirus

Australia had just shut its international borders in an attempt to keep the virus out as reports of the severity of illness trickled in. 

‘It’s like kindergarten stuff,’ he said in the segment.

Two years on, Johns was among tens of thousands of Aussies who caught Covid over the Christmas period.  

It’s understood Johns is now recovering at home in Sydney and in ‘good health’ after spending time in hospital and a nearby hotel where he was the only person in isolation.

Johns reportedly required medical treatment at the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital - despite joking he had 'no worries' about his health when the virus was first found in Australia

Johns reportedly required medical treatment at the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital - despite joking he had 'no worries' about his health when the virus was first found in Australia

Johns reportedly required medical treatment at the Wagga Wagga Base Hospital – despite joking he had ‘no worries’ about his health when the virus was first found in Australia

Testing centres are still experiencing huge demand with queues stretching back several kilometres in some areas (pictured, queues back up outside a testing centre in Mascot, NSW, on Monday)

Testing centres are still experiencing huge demand with queues stretching back several kilometres in some areas (pictured, queues back up outside a testing centre in Mascot, NSW, on Monday)

Testing centres are still experiencing huge demand with queues stretching back several kilometres in some areas (pictured, queues back up outside a testing centre in Mascot, NSW, on Monday)

He will return to pre-season training with the Newcastle Knights, where he works as a coach.

The club took a hit in late 2021 after a developmental player was caught up in a Covid super-spreading event at a Newcastle nightclub.

While all first-grade players tested negative to the virus, all football operations were suspended for the remainder of the year out of an abundance of caution. 

Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Johns’ management.  

Covid is running rampant through Australia and NSW in particular, with 140,000 active cases and 23,131 new infections diagnosed on Tuesday alone.  

Hospital admissions jumped from 1,204 to 1,344 in NSW while a further 10 patients were admitted to ICU overnight bringing the total to 105.

'This body... Coronavirus is the least of what this has taken,' the footy legend said on Channel 9's 100% Footy program on March 16, 2020

'This body... Coronavirus is the least of what this has taken,' the footy legend said on Channel 9's 100% Footy program on March 16, 2020

‘This body… Coronavirus is the least of what this has taken,’ the footy legend said on Channel 9’s 100% Footy program on March 16, 2020

NSW has recorded 23,131 new Covid cases and two deaths on Tuesday while Victoria leapt to 14,020 infections as the states continues to battle the Omicron outbreak

NSW has recorded 23,131 new Covid cases and two deaths on Tuesday while Victoria leapt to 14,020 infections as the states continues to battle the Omicron outbreak

NSW has recorded 23,131 new Covid cases and two deaths on Tuesday while Victoria leapt to 14,020 infections as the states continues to battle the Omicron outbreak

Cases in Victoria have doubled overnight from the 8,577 infections detected the day previous – with the state also reporting two deaths.

Tuesday’s case numbers is the state’s highest caseload on record and brings Victoria’s active cases to 48,297.

But scientists are hopeful the peak of the nation’s Omicron outbreak could be in sight, just weeks after the first transmission was recorded. 

International modelling shows promising signs the variant peaks quickly before petering out just eight weeks later. 

e will return to pre-season training with the Newcastle Knights, where he works closely with the halves pairing to get them match fit

e will return to pre-season training with the Newcastle Knights, where he works closely with the halves pairing to get them match fit

e will return to pre-season training with the Newcastle Knights, where he works closely with the halves pairing to get them match fit

It's understood Johns is now recovering at home in Sydney and in 'good health' after spending time in hospital and a nearby hotel where he was the only person in isolation

It's understood Johns is now recovering at home in Sydney and in 'good health' after spending time in hospital and a nearby hotel where he was the only person in isolation

It’s understood Johns is now recovering at home in Sydney and in ‘good health’ after spending time in hospital and a nearby hotel where he was the only person in isolation

Senior officials are keeping a close eye on the latest data from South Africa, which has experienced a sharp ­decline in infections, just two months after the Omicron variant was first discovered there.

They’re optimistic about reports from South Africa that it’s over the worst of the Omicron outbreak.

‘We are not willing to call it yet, but we are heartened by the direction in South Africa,’ a senior health official told The Australian.

‘There are genuine grounds for hope. And the hope is that this is an indication of what is happening globally.’

AUSTRALIA’S NEW COVID RULES

Who should get a PCR test? Anyone who has symptoms or who has got a positive rapid antigen test

New definition of close contact: Someone who has spent at least four hours in a household or a care facility with a positive case. Workplaces do not count.

New isolation period: Positive people and close contacts must isolate for seven days or 10 in SA. This is regardless of whether the close contacts test negative or not

Timing: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT implemented the new rules on New Year’s Eve.

Tasmania followed on January 1 while the Northern Territory and Western Australia will not adopt the scheme until they get more Covid cases in the weeks ahead.

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Source: Daily Mail

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