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Roger Tuivasa-Sheck addresses the media at Auckland International Airport.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck says the Warriors are viewing their latest relocation to Australia as an "adventure", with a buzz of optimism around the group.

After spending the 2020 season based at a resort on the NSW Central Coast due to travel difficulties as they selflessly kept the game going, the Warriors have committed to staying in Australia until at least April 4 – four rounds into the 2021 competition.

The squad's New Zealand contingent departed from Auckland on Sunday bound for Tamworth, the regional NSW town the team "adopted" last year after being based in a bubble there in the lead-up to the league's resumption from a COVID-19-forced break.

It will be the first time the entire 2021 squad will have mixed, with Australian-rooted players including recruits Euan Aitken, Kane Evans, Addin Fonua-Blake and Sean O'Sullivan having trained separately in Kiama because of border restrictions.

Tuivasa-Sheck, who won praise for his inspirational leadership last season, said the Warriors weren't daunted by the fact they'll be spending at least three months away from home.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at Auckland International Airport.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at Auckland International Airport. ©Alan Lee/

They will move to Terrigal before the campaign begins and are set to play their opening two games at Central Coast Stadium.

"It's definitely a lot easier this time around because it's planned. That's probably the best part, there's a bit more plan to it. The family know when they're coming over and we're all set, we've all put our minds where they need to go to," Tuivasa-Sheck said.

"I think a lot of the boys are more excited. We're taking a big crew, we're taking a lot of the young boys, we're meeting up with the Aussie boys that are over there … new players, new staff, so it's all exciting at this stage.

"Some of the boys are taking their partners and kids today and some will come later on. My family will join me later in the season, so it's all a lot better leaving today. You're not saying a goodbye and not knowing when you'll come home."

The Warriors skipper said his team was focused on the positives in what has been a difficult time around the world.

"My family will be here in Feb when we make our second move into our next place, I think it's Terrigal, Central Coast. That's when I think most of the families and partners will join," he said.

"The angle we're taking this time around is this is a blessing for us to be working at a time like now in this world, to go over there and still have a job and be able to provide.

"For the families to come along, it's going to be a journey and I just keep telling them to take it as an adventure and let's all enjoy this."

The Warriors captured the hearts of the league fraternity with their efforts in 2020 and almost pulled off a fairy tale as they fell just short of a shock finals appearance.

But Tuivasa-Sheck wants no sympathy for the side's plight in 2021 and declared they're determined to build upon some solid foundations under new coach Nathan Brown.

"We're not going there just to make up the numbers and for everyone to feel sorry for us," the fullback said.

"We're really into this. We don't want to be looked down on by anyone, we want to go out there and earn it all."

Asked for his expectations, Tuivasa-Sheck said: "Just go in with the attitude that we're here to play, we're here to contend for the ultimate prize.

"We don't want anyone to give us any leeway, we don't want anyone to look down on us, we're here to earn it and try to get respect from everyone."

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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