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Warriors want certainty on 2022 conditions


By Scott Bailey in Sydney
Source: AAP

Warriors coach Nathan Brown wants to see fly-in-fly-out games played in New Zealand next year should the NRL club be forced to base in Australia for another 12 months.

The Warriors’ immediate future remains in the dark, with the trans-Tasman bubble closed and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitting this week she was uncertain it would be open before Christmas.

Players and staff will at this stage remain in Queensland indefinitely once their season ends on Sunday, with the NRL offering support but still trying to work out how to best manage the situation.

The Warriors would like to have their whole squad together for the pre-season when it begins in November, but would also like certainty beyond then.

While ideally the club would return to a New Zealand base for next year, they also fear the potential of being forced to relocate again if borders shut.

“If it’s back to Auckland, a lot of us have never been there so we need to find houses and accommodation to try and go back,” Brown said.

“And if it’s going to be here then everyone is going to be having to relocate.

“Everyone seems to have handled it very well. Some of the partners have moved kids to multiple schools, in different countries and then different states.

“There has been a lot of pressure on the partners.

“That is probably one big reason where we need some kind of certainty where we can be for the next 12 months. For the partners.”

The Warriors have spent the best part of the past 16 months on the road, with the exception of three months at the end of last year where they ran split pre-seasons in Australia and New Zealand.

The group reunited in January and entered camp on the NSW Central Coast, before moving to Queensland with the rest of the competition in July.

While other players from bottom-eight sides break up after this weekend, the Warriors will remain in apartments on the Gold Coast but will be free to holiday and live their life without team constraints.

There is also every chance they will spend the next two months searching for a home in Queensland or preparing to move to New Zealand, with a third of their squad having not lived there yet.

But Brown said if they remained in Australia, he would still hope to play home games in Auckland next year after a fly-in-fly-out match had to be cancelled this year.

“My understanding is there would definitely be an element of games in New Zealand if allowed,” Brown said.

“It’s something the club definitely want us to do.

“And I would have thought the NRL would want us to do that as well because New Zealand is an important part of the competition.”

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