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Warriors star Blake Green is hopeful their current lockdown will soon be relaxed, but he’s unsure whether they’ll be locked out entirely of this year’s NRL season.
As the NRL forges ahead with plans to resume the competition as early as late May, the status of the New Zealand-based club remains unclear.
The Warriors are currently two weeks into a month-long lockdown, however travelling restrictions either side of the Tasman could prove a massive hurdle.
NRL chief executive Todd Greenberg fueled fears the Warriors could be excluded when he said the competition could proceed without them.
That was news to Green on Monday.
“We haven’t had any dialogue with our footy club about that even being a possibility,” Green told Fox League Live on Monday.
Green believes the New Zealand government, led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, has “got a hold on things” regarding the coronavirus.
“We’re on a four-week lockdown, so there’s two weeks to go, but there’s every chance that could be it,” he said.
“Obviously it’s not going to go back to complete normal, but I’m hoping it’s relaxed a little bit more and we’ll be able to get over and get amongst it straight away.”
Greenberg said every effort will be made to include the Kiwi club in a full 16-team competition whenever and wherever it resumes this year, if at all.
A 15-team competition would be a kick in the guts for the Warriors after they were locked in Kingscliff for 10 days last month in a bid to keep the season afloat.
The Warriors are still undergoing 14-day stints of self-isolation after their return to New Zealand, while the lockdown measures are due to finish on April 23.
Chief executive Cameron George wouldn’t be drawn on Greenberg’s comments on Monday, issuing a short statement to AAP.
“Nothing to add at this stage! Just awaiting more information from the NRL,” the statement read.
Greenberg said the NRL will seek an exemption from both Australian and New Zealand governments which would allow the Warriors to fly.
Their possible exclusion would reduce the number of games to seven.
An NRL innovations committee has been tasked with assessing solutions for the competition’s resumption, which could include teams isolating in “bubbles”.
That could mean players being away from families for an extended period.
Green is hopeful families could be included in the “bubble”, having flown his wife and children over during their initial stay in Kingscliff.
“I’d like to take them with me, particularly if we’re looking at a four-month stint for the competition. That’s a long time,” he said.
“But if that situation’s not possible, it’s not possible.
“We can’t do a whole heap about it.”