INTERVIEW | Members and fans thanked

As weeks go this has been one of the biggest in the Vodafone Warriors' existence.

It started last weekend when 15 of the club's players were on international duty for the Kiwis, Toa Samoa, Mate Ma'a Tonga and the Junior Kiwis with Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Thomas Leuluai, Ben Matulino and Shaun Johnson all outstanding in the Kiwis' superb 26-12 Anzac Test win over the Kangaroos.

The Mount Smart Stadium debate was also in full focus as Vodafone Warriors chairman Bill Wavish and managing director Jim Doyle made a last-ditch stand to persuade Auckland Council members to re-think their position on plans to move the club out of its home ground. A letter jointly signed by Wavish and Doyle was sent to all councillors as they prepared for a round of 10-year budget meetings which could determine the Vodafone Warriors' future at Mount Smart Stadium.

The councillors were urged to defer voting on the city's stadium strategy proposed by Regional Facilities Auckland which would see the Vodafone Warriors forced out of their home ground after their existing lease expires in 2018. Wavish and Doyle said they wanted the vote deferred so all parties affected could reconvene to review the strategy.

Vodafone Warriors members and fans had also lent their weight to the on-going campaign to keep the Vodafone Warriors at their home.

On Thursday came success as the Auckland Council decided to delay considering the stadium policy, asking the RFA to meet with all parties and report back in 12 months.

Doyle welcomed the decision while at the same time stressing there was still a battle ahead. He said he and Wavish were grateful to all members and fans for the support they had provided.

While this was going on, Doyle was also involved in negotiations which resulted in Friday's announcement that Kiwi hooker Issac Luke had signed a three-year contract with the Vodafone Warriors from next season. Doyle flew to Sydney on Thursday afternoon to sign Luke before returning home yesterday afternoon.

It rounded off an extraordinary week for the Vodafone Warriors.