Warriors star Dallin Watene-Zelezniak has declared that he "misses changing nappies" and hopes his newly born daughter Lola will have the chance to watch him play in the NRL finals when he finally meets her next month.
Watene-Zelezniak's wife Purdy and their three children are set to join the Kiwis captain in Queensland after remaining in Sydney while she gave birth to Lola four weeks ago.
Purdy and the children will now spend 14 days in isolation in Queensland before reuniting with Watene-Zelezniak in a bid to travel to New Zealand as soon as the trans-Tasman bubble re-opens.
With the COVID-19 situation worsening in NSW and outbreaks occurring in Queensland, Victoria, the ACT and New Zealand, it is a dilemma facing the entire Warriors squad and off-field staff amid concerns they could be forced to remain in Australia indefinitely.
The former Panthers and Bulldogs back, who will make his 150th NRL appearance when he returns from suspension against Brisbane on Sunday, said he hoped to move to Auckland before the end of the year but was uncertain about the future.
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If the trans-Tasman bubble remains closed, spending 14 days in managed isolation quarantine would be the only way to enter New Zealand but MIQ spots are heavily booked.
"I know there are other people waiting in line and we have got to wait our turn so that is one of the logistics we have got to deal with," Watene-Zelezniak said.
"We are just like everyone else out there. Things are changing each day, so it is pretty hard to make a call."
However, Watene-Zelezniak is looking forward to finally meeting Lola after watching on Facebook from the Warriors' hotel on the Gold Coast as Purdy gave birth in Sydney.
He was initially planning to remain with her and their family, but Purdy convinced him to join his Warriors teammates when the NRL relocated to South-East Queensland last month.
"I found it pretty hard because I wasn't just able to reach out and grab the baby so I am looking forward to them coming up and meeting my daughter. I think she will be a month-and-a-half when I get to meet her," Watene-Zelezniak said.
"I am actually missing changing nappies. Give me a week though, and I'll be over it. I'm blessed with my wife, she is tough and I was pretty surprised when she was adamant that I stayed with the team.
"We made the decision for them to come up here and isolate, so that if anything does happen we're with the team and we go together.
"If I do go back to New South Wales after the season there might be a tough chance or no chance at all of getting out to go somewhere else, either up here in Queensland or back in New Zealand.
"We don't know what's happening at the end of the season with us and where we're going. All we know is we will definitely have a roof over our head but the best thing is that we will be together, it doesn't matter where we are."
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Being unable to return home should provide added motivation for the Warriors to make the finals rather than be forced to watch their NRL rivals play and they are back in contention after consecutive wins over Wests Tigers, Cronulla and Canterbury.
If they can overcome the Broncos before a crowd of up to 35,000 at Suncorp Stadium under relaxed Queensland government limits of 75 per cent capacity for major events from this weekend, the Warriors may find themselves in equal eighth spot.
The Warriors play the Raiders and Bulldogs in their remaining two matches and wins in both should ensure them a finals berth.
"It gives me a little bit extra knowing that we are a chance to make finals and I'm always the glass half-full so any time we have a chance I will take that," Watene-Zelezniak said.
"You want to win every game, but these last three weeks are really important to give ourselves a good chance."