6 Mar 2021

Warriors to stay in Australia until at least June 21

12:30 pm on 6 March 2021

The Warriors will extend their stay in Australia until at least 21 June due to the ongoing Covid-19 travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand.

Warriors CEO Cameron George.

Warriors CEO Cameron George. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The NRL club's first possible game in Auckland this season will now be their 16th-round match against St George-Illawarra on 2 July.

Chief executive Cameron George says they're desperate to come home and play in New Zealand at some point this season and they'll make a further call on where they're based in May.

"It was our hope initially that we would be able to return home for our April 9 match against Manly Warringah but the resurgence in Covid-19 transmissions in New Zealand leaves us with no option but to extend our stay," George said.

"Indications are the introduction of any trans-Tasman bubble will happen later than originally hoped. On that basis, we've had discussions with the NRL and our players and staff about delaying our return to ensure we have some continuity for the first 15 rounds of the competition.

"We thank our members, fans and sponsors for their support, understanding and patience through these challenging times while we've been preparing for the 2021 season at our home away from home on the Central Coast.

"Clearly this hasn't been the outcome we wanted, particularly after being away from home for the entire 2020 season, but I hope our determination to front up for our fans, our partners, and our country gives everyone cause to be proud of the club and excited to be part of another premiership challenge.

"When it's safe to do so, we look forward to sharing the biggest homecoming party with everyone at Mount Smart Stadium but for now the players and staff are focused on the opening round of the season against Gold Coast on Saturday week."

The Warriors will now play a minimum of seven of their 12 home games in Australia starting with the Gold Coast Titans on 13 March followed by the Newcastle Knights (19 March), Manly Warringah Sea Eagles (9 April), North Queensland Cowboys (2 May), Parramatta Eels (16 May), Wests Tigers (21 May) and Melbourne Storm (13 June).

Six of the games will be played at Central Coast Stadium while the match against the Eels will be staged at Suncorp Stadium as part of the NRL's Magic Round.

The Warriors plan to travel to Auckland on 21 June following their 15th-round away clash against the Newcastle Knights on 19 June, but the decision will be confirmed in May.

There is then a break in the NRL schedule for State of Origin's standalone second match at Suncorp Stadium on 27 June, giving the Warriors time to relocate to Auckland.