Warriors get green light to fly to Australia for NRL restart

Publish Date
Saturday, 2 May 2020, 5:07PM


The Warriors have finally gotten the green light from the Australian government to fly across the Tasman in time for the resumption of the NRL season.

The NRL confirmed this morning that the Warriors received approval from the Australian Border Force to travel to Tamworth in regional New South Wales, where they will see out a mandatory 14-day quarantine period.

About 50 Warriors players and staff will get on a charter flight tomorrow to be based in Tamworth, where they have also been given clearance by the federal and NSW governments to train while in quarantine.

ARL chairman Peter V'landys said the outcome was great news for the league's efforts to resume its season.

"This is an excellent outcome for rugby league and another step towards the competition resuming on May 28," V'landys told NRL.com.

"I want to thank the Federal and State Governments, in particular Border Force and NSW State Emergency Operation Centre for their assistance in making the Warriors arrival a reality.

"As a game we cannot thank the Warriors enough for everything they are doing. Right from the start of this pandemic the club and its players have put the competition first and for that we will be forever thankful."

V'landys also added that the league has settled issues around player salary in a phone hook-up with the Warriors, and that the players assured that "they will be on the plane".

Warriors chief executive Cameron George said the team was "relieved" to get over the final hurdle.

"As a club we're both relieved and excited that our requests have now been taken care of to our satisfaction," said George.

"We have never wavered in our commitment to be involved in supporting the resumption of the season. We're now ready to go and couldn't be happier about the prospect of being back on the field at the end of the month.

"It has been a challenging and often frustrating time for all parties over the last few weeks with so many issues on the table but it has finally come together as of today.

"We're exceptionally grateful to both the Australian and New South Wales governments for granting us an exemption and we respect the process they've had to work through.

"We're hugely appreciative of the support we've had from the NRL, especially from (chairman) Peter V'landys who has been in our corner throughout.

"We have approval for the team to train in isolation over the next two weeks in Tamworth and I know the players and staff are looking forward to being back together as a group for the first time in six weeks."

As it stands, the Warriors will be based in Australia indefinitely, but V'landys is hopeful a "trans-Tasman bubble" will allow the Kiwi club to play a portion of the season in New Zealand if travel restrictions with Australia are loosened.

The team will relocate closer to Sydney after the 14-day isolation period.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission