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Nomadic Warriors bound for Australia

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Roar Rookie
2nd May, 2020
23

The Warriors will have the chance to apply for a player switch if any of their squad needs to return to New Zealand once they arrive in Australia on Sunday.

The NRL’s nomads are yet to touch down in Tamworth, but Warriors boss Cameron George is ensuring his players and their families back in New Zealand are mentally equipped to deal with their next test.

Australian Border Force clearance finally arrived on Saturday morning for the squad, who are due to arrive in the NSW country town barely 24 hours later and not likely to return until the season is complete in October.

Warriors chief executive George hopes families can follow in coming months and that they can shift from Tamworth, after two weeks of training in strict isolation, to the Central Coast and ideally play “home games” in Gosford.

An in-house wellbeing officer will remain with the team during the season, while the club will ensure their families have support around the clock.

The club also has the option to apply for a replacement if any player needs to return home prematurely.

“The squad we’re taking across is the intended squad that we play with for the duration of the season,” George said.

“But if things change for personal reasons for individuals, on a case-by-case basis we can make an application to the NRL, particularly on compassionate grounds.

“The NRL have been really good in that regard and … they’re prepared to at least look at an application from our club, which is a good assurance for us.”

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While Australian NRL players have at least been able to train in groups of two, the Warriors have endured a complete lockdown.

“When they get into camp next week they can physically see them and look at them, see how they’re running,” George said.

“But everything’s been pretty good so far.

“It’s been a really challenging few weeks so to get that notification only 24 hours before we were due to depart was a big relief for our club and players.

“They’re very excited about what lies ahead.”

© AAP