The NRL looks set to continue with Warriors confirming they’ll remain in Australia this week following the new travel restrictions imposed by the New Zealand Government due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Players and staff were scheduled to arrive home this afternoon after last night’s 20-0 opening-round loss to the Knights in Newcastle.
They would have returned in time to avoid the compulsory two-week self-isolation period which comes into effect from midnight for all people arriving in New Zealand.
Chief executive Cameron George says the team will be based on the Gold Coast and will play their second round match against Canberra, which was supposed to be at Eden Park, at Robina Stadium.
That means the NRL looks set to continue, albeit at empty stadium.
Chief executive Todd Greenberg is set to give an update on the situation at midday (NZT) and many pundits believed the competition would be suspended.
The NRL has already said all games will be played behind closed doors from round two.
The Warriors chief executive Cameron George says with games unable to be played in New Zealand, that would have ended their season.
“With the travelling restrictions coming into place, returning to New Zealand would effectively remove us from the competition,” said George, who is flying back to Auckland today.
“We had extensive meetings with (NRL CEO) Todd Greenberg, the Rugby League Players’ Association and our players and staff until late last night to consider all our options.
“There is a lot of take into account, not least the impact on families back home as well as our members, fans, sponsors and other stakeholders.
“Ultimately we have reached a decision for the team to stay in Australia for the coming week. They’ll be based on the Gold Coast and will play Canberra next weekend, probably in Robina.”
“The landscape is changing so rapidly, though, and together with the NRL we’ll monitor the situation on a daily basis,” George said.
SOURCE – RADIO NEW ZEALAND