Warriors CEO Cameron George says he hopes his players will be back in New Zealand for the round-five game against Manly, but admits that is looking doubtful.
George, along with his New Zealand-based players, flew to Sydney on Sunday to prepare for the upcoming NRL season.
The Warriors will set up camp in Tamworth for a month starting January 3 before moving to the Central Coast until April 4. Credit:NRL Photos
It had already been confirmed that the team would spend a month in Tamworth for pre-season training, before relocating to Terrigal on the Central Coast.
From March 13 they will play home games against Gold Coast and Newcastle over the first two rounds of the season, before going on the road to take on Canberra and the Roosters.
George hoped that travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand would be lifted by then and the Warriors could play out the rest of the season based in Auckland.
However, with coronavirus cases popping up in Australia again over the last few weeks, the New Zealand government’s plans to set up a travel bubble in the first quarter of 2021 now seem too optimistic and George says the Warriors could be in Australia for longer than the first four rounds of the season.
“I suspect it will be, but fingers crossed that changes and our prime minister looks after us and gets us home,” George said.
While there is a lot of uncertainty around the Warriors’ plans for the season – which was the case for most of last year – all the players and staff know they will spend at least three months in Australia.
“Because we’ve been planning this since April, nothing has been a surprise,” George said.
“They [the NRL] were very confident that things would have opened up and we’d be back to normal, but we were always pushing the envelope that we were only dealing with what was in place today, not speculating or anything like that.
“On that basis, they were very accommodating, they’ve helped us plan it, they’ve helped us with the logistics. We’re ready to go and they’re a big part of that.”
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