After a fractured build-up last year, the Vodafone Warriors today launch their full 2022 NRL preseason campaign – and 28th in the club’s history – based entirely in Australia.
Last year the impact of the Covid pandemic saw the NRL squad split into two for the pre-Christmas block of training with an Australian-based unit in Kiama and a New Zealand group stationed in Auckland before the players were fully united in Tamworth in early January.
The first contingent of players assembles at the Vodafone Warriors’ new base in Redcliffe today as the club prepares for a third Covid-affected season based in Australia albeit with the hope the team will be able to play in front of their fans at Mount Smart Stadium at some stage for the first time since August 2019.
Several members of the NRL squad will today join a mix of development-contracted and junior players plus those on train and trial deals. The rest of the squad will return on a staggered basis throughout the month while some of the club’s junior players are due to arrive in the New Year.
Those on development contracts are 2021 NRL rookie Taniela Otukolo, Lleyton Finau and twin brothers Kina and Lingi Kepu who all played grade football for feeder club Redcliffe in Queensland this year.
Among players from the club’s Sky Sport Future Warriors system are young back rowers Zyon Maiuu and Jacob Laban. The Kelston Boys’ High School students were signed on three-year contracts this year.
Train and trial players include former Gold Coast halfback Ash Taylor and some Intrust Super Cup players, among them Redcliffe fullback Trei Fuller.
TRAIN AND TRIAL PLAYERS