24 Mar 2020

Warriors returning home today

12:09 pm on 24 March 2020

The Warriors will return home today.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney and CEO Cameron George.


The National Rugby League suspended their season on Monday night because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys said one of the reasons they acted so quickly was to allow the Warriors to get home before the borders closed completely.

The Warriors have been based in the northern New South Wales town of Kingscliff for the past 10 days.

Warriors CEO Cameron George said all efforts were being made to book flights for the team as soon as possible with all players and staff who wanted to return to New Zealand due to arrive on Tuesday.

"It's a disappointing time but we anticipated it would reach this point at some point soon," said George.

"Our priority now is to fly the players back home to Auckland to be reunited with their families."

Despite the NRL being one of the last competitions to call time for the foreseeable future, George backed the way the NRL and V'landys had responded to the evolving coronavirus situation.

"This demonstrates leadership that at all times had the players wellbeing and health at heart, but the minute this was jeopardized he pulled the pin, so full credit to the NRL."

George said the suspension was "devastating" for the sport, the club and the fans.

"In terms of the club's short and long-term future, we have much to work through and to consider.

"Clearly this crisis has already had a huge financial impact on the club and we face some real challenges but our owners are committed to ensuring the Warriors survive this."

George said the club would look to the government for financial support as he believed they added a lot to the country.

"Like any business in New Zealand we're experiencing the same challenges and we'll push through."

Whether or not players would need to take a pay cut was a game-wide decision according to George.

"This won't be dealt with in isolation with one particular club, this will be dealt with as a game, how best can we move forward, how best can we reset and give every club and every player an opportunity to get the game back up and running sooner rather than later."

However George would not pressure his returning players to commit to participating in any form the NRL might take when or if it resumes.

"We have every intention of being a part of the NRL and the rugby league landscape..but at the moment that is pretty raw for us we are just getting back into our country and I'm honestly not even thinking about asking the players if they want to be part of a competition."