Stuck, Warriors forced to stay in Australia after NRL season ends

Dallin Watene-Zelezniak missed the birth of his daughter, Lola, due to the Warriors being forced to relocate to the Gold Coast. Picture: STUFF SPORTS.

Warriors players and their families will be forced to stay in Australia for at least a week after their last game of the season.

The New Zealand government’s announcement on Friday that there would be an eight-week pause to the trans-Tasman travel bubble meant that people won’t be allowed to travel from Australia to New Zealand until September 11, without having to go into managed isolation for two weeks.

The Warriors’ last game of the season is against the Titans on September 5 and unless the team make the finals, which is unlikely, they’ll have to hang around in Australia for at least a week before they can come home.

“We’re aware of it, I’ve started talking to the NRL about it,” Warriors CEO Cameron George told Stuff.

“The players are also aware of it, we’ve looked for managed isolation opportunities, but they don’t exist.

“So it looks like we’ll be here for the next eight weeks at least. It will be reviewed by then and at the end that time we’ll hope we can come back to New Zealand.”

With no available places in managed isolation after the Titans game, it means there aren’t any options for the Warriors but to wait it out and hope that the coronavirus pandemic is eventually controlled in Australia.

If that doesn’t happen, and it could be months before the Delta variant is stamped out in New South Wales, then they’ll be stuck on the other side of the Tasman for even longer.

“We’ve just got to suck it up and deal with it. There’s nothing else we can do,” George said.


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