Warriors: Return plans not off table, yet

Photo: Photosport Ltd 2021

The Warriors say no decision has been made on whether the NRL side will come home to New Zealand next month.

Following the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble, a plan had been place for a potential return from their base on New South Wales’ Central Coast on June 19.

A report on Thursday suggested that plan had been shelved, with there also being a chance the team could remain in Australia for the rest of the NRL season.

But Warriors chief executive Cameron George told RNZ he was meeting with the NRL tomorrow, before final meetings next week with the players and staff, before any call would be made.

“We’ve got a plan, we’ve had a plan all year. It’s just about rolling that out at the right time.

“To say that’s it’s been decided and done is incorrect but we’ll certainly be in a position towards the back end of next week to announce our decision, absolutely.”

It wasn’t simply down to what the Warriors wanted to do, either.

George, who was in Australia with the team, said they were very much working in tandem with the players and the NRL on what would eventually happen.

“We’ve got desires but we’ve also got to sensibly balance that out against the risk.

“It was only last weekend the borders were shut, which would’ve meant we would have been rushed out of New Zealand, sent to Sydney and [the players would’ve been] separated from the families.

“It’s not simply just going yes or no. It’s the appetite for risk, which is pretty low for everyone.”

The same applied to potential for home matches in Auckland, regardless of whether the Warriors stayed across the Tasman for the whole 2021 season.

George said that was all part of the process they were still working through.

“While we can have that desire, that’s something we need to work with the NRL on.

“There’s nothing more we want than to go home and play in front of our faithful fans in New Zealand but [it has to be] without risking the competition.

“That’s all critical and something we need to balance out.”

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