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The Warriors want to become the most supported sporting team in Australasia and have set themselves the bold ambition of attracting more than 100,000 members.

In a move that will benefit the game at grassroots level in those communities which have supported the Warriors this year, the Auckland-based club is aiming to not only have the largest membership within the NRL but surpass AFL leaders West Coast Eagles (100,776) and Richmond (100,420).

After being forced to relocate to Australia in May to complete the NRL season and enable the Telstra Premiership to continue, the Warriors gained many new supporters and also developed strong relationships with Tamworth, the Central Coast and Redcliffe.

The team was based in Tamworth during a two-week isolation period and played a home match against Newcastle in the city, while the Warriors spent most of their five months in Australia on the Central Coast.

The Warriors have formed a partnership with Redcliffe, with the Dolphins to be their feeder team next season, while the club already had an association with Tenterfield after committing to help the drought-hit town in north-west NSW with drinking water and irrigation for playing fields.

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A new $10 Warriors Supporter subscription will enable fans to support the club while also assisting junior rugby league in Redcliffe, Tamworth, Tenterfield, the Central Coast and New Zealand as 50 per cent of revenue from the memberships will be allocated to the grassroots in those areas.  

"We believe our support base is far and wide around the world so we want to formalise it if we can if and if we get up to the levels we believe are out there we would be the most supported club in 2021," Warriors CEO Cameron George said.

"We see clubs in Australia with supporter bases in excess of 100,000 and we want to finish ahead of that. We want to be the break the record for the largest official supporter base in Australasia."

The Warriors still don't know whether they can return to Mt Smart Stadium in 2021 or will need to be based at either Redcliffe or the Central Coast but have asked the NRL for a block of home games to start the season so they can pay tribute to those fans who stuck by them while they were forced to play in Australia.

Most of the club's New Zealand supporters retained their memberships, while the overall number of Warriors members increased to 18,336 as they gained new fans in Australia, with many people adopting them as their second team.

"The game has taken a massive financial hit but nowhere greater than the country regions both in New Zealand and Australia," George said.

"In New Zealand we obviously want to try and help as much as we can and in Australia we feel that we have a really strong connection with Redcliffe, Tamworth, Tenterfield and the Central Coast.

"This is great incentive for all of our fans and supporters in those locations to get involved because you are vested with us in the future of the game and making junior rugby league stronger and stronger by hopefully offsetting some costs and buying new equipment for the kids who are the next generation of players coming through."

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George said the $10 Warriors Supporter concept had been welcomed by leagues and clubs in those areas.

"Every single one of them have been extremely appreciative of the thought and really embracing the idea because the financial aspect of their part of the sport has been massively hit this year through COVID on top of droughts and bushfires and everything else," he said.

"For us it is a way of giving back to the grassroots of rugby league and making our great game greater not only in New Zealand but also those parts of Australia."

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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