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Vodafone Warriors to play out season in Australia

Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George today reluctantly announced the club’s NRL squad won’t be able to return to New Zealand as hoped and will now remain in Australia for the rest of the season.

While a Trans-Tasman bubble has been in place for a month, George said it had become clear that heading home on June 21 as initially planned was no longer a realistic option.

“That was the goal but it’s clear there’s still too much uncertainty and risk involved with the Covid-19 situation,” he said.

It's clear there’s still too much uncertainty and risk involved with the Covid-19 situation

Cameron George Vodafone Warriors CEO

“We saw a pause in the bubble just two weeks ago after a case in Sydney and that really served as another reminder of how unstable things are.

“While we’ve wanted to come home our priority has been to ensure we have stability for our players and families while also doing what’s best for the competition.

“We’ve been in constant discussions with the NRL keeping abreast of developments and we’ve mutually agreed it’s in our best interests to remain in Australia.

“However, we will continue to explore options to play in front of our fans at home if international border volatility settles later in the season.”

It had originally been hoped the Vodafone Warriors would return to Auckland to play their last five regular season home games at Mount Smart Stadium.