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One in, all in: The club-wide sacrifices spurring Warriors on

The Warriors' sacrifices to remain part of the 2020 NRL season and keep the competition alive have extended beyond the players, with the club's entire staff agreeing to a base-level wage to avoid redundancies. understands that from CEO Cameron George and coach Stephen Kearney down, the Warriors' entire 70-strong permanent staff have agreed to taking home the same pay packet for at least three months.

For Kearney it means a six-figure sacrifice, while senior players Blake Green, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Adam Blair and Tohu Harris donated part of their paycheques back to the club in March to help ease the financial strain.

That money is set to be returned to the players. On Sunday they left family members behind in Auckland in tearful scenes, vowing to make the club-wide sacrifices worth the while.

"There's a bit of trailblazing there on our part but also there's a huge responsibility," Kearney said on his departure from New Zealand.

Kearney: I felt a bit sad

"I just want to make sure that Cameron George, [football manager] Dan Floyd and Blake Green on behalf of our club in representation to the Players Association, they've worked super hard to make this happen for us and we've got to make sure that we live up to that responsibility, do everything right and make our fans proud and our members proud."

All manner of logistics have been considered and catered for on both sides of the ditch to keep the Warriors on track for May 28's NRL return date.

On the home front, attention turns to government negotiations to have families join players in Australia.

There's a bit of trailblazing there on our part but also there's a huge responsibility

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney

In all likelihood, June is the earliest that will happen, with the Warriors eyeing a Central Coast base where families are able to safely isolate with players.

For Tuivasa-Sheck that distance will be used to drive his teammates in the interim.

"We are still hungry and want to represent our families, fans and members," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"We need to sacrifice our families and go over to Australia and go to work because that is what everyone wants.

"So many people have been working behind the scenes to get this going - it is up to us to make the most of this opportunity ... and keep our eyes on the prize."

Footballing wise, Kearney's squad will be briefed on their new biosecurity bubble on Monday, and return to the paddock a day later.

Initial training group numbers will be limited to just 10, including a member of Kearney's staff, while tackling and wrestling are also initially off the agenda as per government regulations.

RTS: It is tough for families

Given his players spent a month under far more stringent lockdown in New Zealand, where some relied mostly on body-weight training in lieu of heavy-duty gym equipment, Kearney concedes his team has some catching up to do.

"We'll get a good look at them on Tuesday when we are allowed to run," he said.

"I'm confident they will be in good shape by May 28. But looking at some of them, some of them haven't been doing the bigger weights.

"I can see the muscle mass has dropped. It will mean a lot of hard work.

"It was always going to be a de-conditioning aspect for some of them. It's really important over the next three weeks to get them up to speed. It will be a lot of hard work but they will be ready for it."

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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