The Kiwis test in Denver has already hit its first major hurdle.

Less than 24 hours after the match against England in North America was confirmed, Warriors' CEO Cameron George has raised serious questions about the concept.

He said the game would be played at the worst possible time for the Auckland club, and players will only be released for the trip to North America if they are 100 per cent fit.

Like many NRL CEO's, George's main concern is the effect of the travel, with a near 40 hour round trip to Denver in the space of a week.


It's exacerbated for the Warriors, who face a trip to North Queensland to face the Cowboys the week before the representative round.

"It's a significant hurdle in terms of travel," George told the Radio Sport Breakfast on Wednesday. "You couldn't have picked a worse week to put it on for us, because if you are going to pick the furthest [trip] in the NRL for us, it's Townsville.

"And who do we play two days before we go to Denver? It's the Cowboys in Townsville. [So] they have to go to Townsville, come back and travel to Denver two days later, come back on the [following] Tuesday and then we play the Sharks on the Friday night."

George said the club remains supportive of the international game, but they have to look after the interests of their players.

"We have an obligation to the Kiwis organisation and we will always support them naturally," said George. "[But] what I have always said is that we will assess our players on a welfare basis. At this stage we are supporting the test but our players will be assessed on a welfare basis and if they are not 100 per cent right, they won't be going."

When asked if the player could go if they were '90 percent right'," George was unequivocal

"Absolutely not," said George. "It's important that we look after our players. We've got 24 rounds of the NRL and we have fans jumping out telling them that they haven't been performing. So if they are not 100 per cent right to go and perform at an international level, they won't be travelling that distance. It's important that the NZRL know that, I've talked to [NZRL CEO] Alex [Hayton] about that and we will continually talk to them about how we can get them here, and get them home safely."

The Warriors have a significant Kiwis contingent, with frontline players like Shaun Johnson, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Simon Mannering, Adam Blair, Tohu Harris among many others.


Aside from the Auckland team, the Dragons and Eels will be particularly affected as they have a match on the Thursday night following the Denver test, barely 48 hours after the Kiwis squad will return.

The Roosters and Storm, who historically have provided plenty of Kiwis players, also clash on the Friday night following the North America game.

"The travel is the biggest hurdle for all the clubs," said George. "At the end of the day we are supporting the test, but who goes...time will tell"

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