The situation for the New Zealand Warriors has turned from bad to worse, after missing out on a spot in the top eight, CEO Cameron George says the relocated Auckland side will “likely” be staying in Queensland for the 2022 season.
The Warriors have failed to gain exemption requests for reentry into New Zealand, despite the Wallabies being granted one for the Bledisloe Cup.
With the club likely to remain across the ditch for another season, George joined SEN 1170’s Breakfast with Vossy to explain the Warriors’ dire situation.
“At this point in time, we’re here indefinitely,” he said.
“As it stands now, we’re based on the Gold Coast.
“We don’t have any MIQ (Managed isolation and quarantine) spots booked to go back to New Zealand, the first available ones that we’re trying to get is December 12.
“But at this point in time with the borders shut, we’ve tried every avenue we can to get our players and staff back home, but we’re stuck here.
“We can’t even get a number of Australian players and staff (over there).
“They don’t have access to New Zealand because they’re not eligible to the criteria so we can’t even get half of our team home if we wanted to go through MIQ.”
Assuming they will be staying in Australia, George laid out the Warriors' next plan of action and requested certainty from the NRL.
“We’re planning very proactively on starting pre-season training here at Redcliffe in November,” he said.
“No one has confidence in the borders, even if they do open, they can be shut very quickly.
“Things aren’t changing for the better and no one really knows what the next 12 months holds with vaccinations and all sorts of things.”
Although nothing seems to be going to plan for the Warriors, George has high standards and goals for the next season which he is determined to achieve.
“What we have to do and what we’re focused on doing is providing a stable environment for the next 12 months because we want to win this competition,” he said.
“We want to win as many games as we can, that’s our goal.
“I want to be able to tell the players we’re locked in here for 12 months without fear or failure of the borders and that’s something we’re working on with the NRL as we speak.
“I’d say we’ll be kicking off our pre-season training in Queensland in the next eight weeks.”
Listen to the full interview with Cameron George here: