15 Jul 2020

Warriors are coming home

3:06 pm on 15 July 2020

The Warriors have confirmed the homesick quartet of David Fusitu'a, Ken Maumalo, Agnatius Paasi and King Vuniyayawa have been booked to fly home on 27 July to be reunited with their families.

Ken Maumalo in possession. Vodafone Warriors v Brisbane Broncos. NRL Rugby League, Central Coast Stadium, Central Coast, NSW, Australia. 4th July 2020. Copyright Photo: David Neilson / www.photosport.nz

Ken Maumalo Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

The players had originally committed to stay in Australia only until Sunday's match against Cronulla-Sutherland unless the NRL succeeded in its efforts to secure travel exemptions for their families to enter Australia.

Due to the unavailability of flights, the four players will now remain with the team another week until after the encounter with the Sydney Roosters on 25 July.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George said Fusitu'a, Maumalo, Paasi and Vuniyayawa had the total support of the players, staff and the club.

"We can't say enough about the sacrifice they have made being away from their families so long," he said.

"We fully understand the predicament they have been in and we're so appreciative of what they have done in committing to the cause for as long as they have.

"When we travelled to Australia we promised the players everything possible in our control would be done to secure travel exemptions for their families to join them there.

"Ultimately the decision lies with government agencies to approve the applications the NRL made on our behalf."

Rugby League Players' Association chief executive Clint Newton commended the returning players and thanked Warriors management for their commitment to working through the process.

"The club's management has shown a level of compassion for the players in working through this and we appreciate their understanding of the unique set of circumstances each player is faced with," he said.

"These players and their families have made tremendous sacrifices since March when the challenges first began, which should be recognised as they return home to New Zealand at the end of the month."

On arriving home, the players will be required to go into isolation for 14 days before they can finally see their families next month.

George said consideration was now being given to how best to replace the returning players in the squad.