After more than two and a half seasons in Australia, the Vodafone Warriors are back home at last.
And tomorrow morning (Tuesday) the 2022 squad will be together at Mount Smart Stadium for the first time ahead of Sunday's homecoming clash against the Wests Tigers.
The bulk of the club's NRL squad and football staff touched down at Auckland International Airport at 5.45pm on Monday to join players and staff who had returned to Auckland last week.
Among those arriving were several who hadn't been in New Zealand since March 2020, one of them hooker Wayde Egan who did the preseason in Auckland in 2019-2020.
He has gone on to make 50 appearances for the club all in Australia but this week he'll finally play for the Vodafone Warriors at Mount Smart Stadium for the first time.
And there were others like Josh Curran, Jack Murchie, Marcelo Montoya, Bayley Sironen, Euan Aitken and Reece Walsh who are also yet to play for the club at home. Others in the travelling party were Adam Pompey, Aaron Pene, Viliami Vailea, Taniela Otukolo, Edward Kosi, Jesse Arthars, Daejarn Asi, Freddy Lussick and Tom Ale.
The four players with Samoa - Jazz Tevaga, Bunty Afoa, Chanel Harris-Tavita and Ronald Volkman - arrived in Auckland from Sydney yesterday after a 42-12 win over the Cook Islands on Saturday night.
Tohu Harris, Shaun Johnson, the injured Ben Murdoch-Masila and Rocco Berry came home last week while Dallin Watene-Zelezniak was with the Kiwis and Addin Fonua-Blake and Eliesa Katoa with Mate Ma'a Tonga for the Saturday's sold-out Test at Mount Smart.
The full squad, football staff and office staff will be formally welcomed onto Mount Smart with a pōwhiri on Tuesday morning.