Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George has confirmed the NRL squad will remain in Australia this week following the new travel restrictions imposed by the New Zealand Government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Players and staff were scheduled to arrive home this afternoon after last night’s opening-round loss to the Newcastle Knights in Newcastle.
They would have returned in time to avoid the compulsory two-week self-isolation period which comes into effect from midnight for all people arriving in New Zealand.
“However, with the travelling restrictions coming into place, returning to New Zealand would effectively remove us from the competition,” said George, who is flying back to Auckland today.
“We had extensive meetings with (NRL CEO) Todd Greenberg, the Rugby League Players’ Association and our players and staff until late last night to consider all our options.
“There is a lot of take into account, not least the impact on families back home as well as our members, fans, sponsors and other stakeholders.
“Ultimately we have reached a decision for the team to stay in Australia for the coming week. They’ll be based on the Gold Coast and will play Canberra next weekend, probably at Cbus Super Stadium.
“The landscape is changing so rapidly, though, and together with the NRL we’ll monitor the situation on a daily basis.”
George said the club would work through the impact of the decision with sponsors, fans and all other parties the Vodafone Warriors have partnerships with.