Warriors chairman Rob Croot is pushing the NRL for a definitive answer around their playing base for the rest of the 2020 season.

The Warriors will be staging home games at Cbus Super Stadium (the Gold Coast Titans' venue) for the foreseeable future, with the team being based in Kingscliff.

The NRL competition is forging ahead, but with the constantly changing situation around the Covid-19 outbreak, it's expected that at some point the season will be put on hold, either due to an Australian government imperative or a player contracting the virus.

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But what happens when the competition returns later in the year? Will it continue to be Australian-based, or will the Warriors be able to host games?

A lot depends on the travel restrictions, but Croot wants indications from the governing body about the most likely scenarios.

"We can't make decisions in our business unit without practical and definitive decisions being made," Croot told the Herald. "If the NRL are committed to this and in a few months it's going to be back to normal and we are going to be playing at Mt Smart at the back end of the season then we need to prepare for that."

"If their position is that we need to prepare to play the entire season in Australia, then we can prepare for that. But at the moment we have a foot in each camp and it's not good."

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The most likely scenario is that the NRL grand final will be pushed into November, with State of Origin staged after that. The club season may still need to be compressed, but the NRL will try to play as many of the 25 rounds as possible, in whatever window is available.

Croot hopes the Warriors will be seen at Mt Smart this year, but is unsure. He points out that China took four months to get the virus under control, and expects a similar time frame if there is eventual community spread in Australia and New Zealand.

Croot says while everyone is hurting across the NRL, the Warriors have been hit the hardest.

"[The NRL] need to appreciate that we are different," said Croot. "The clubs that are based in Sydney, all of their players and infrastructure are there. They will be hurting, no gates, memberships, and corporates. But all of our resources are on this side of the Tasman and we can't get to where we are playing."

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"[The NRL] have been supportive and understanding of that, but to date haven't been able to give us definitive answers and that is where we are going to start pushing. We need them to make some calls."

Will the Warriors be able to play at Mt Smart Stadium in 2020? Photo / Photosport
Will the Warriors be able to play at Mt Smart Stadium in 2020? Photo / Photosport

Croot says the most pressing issue was getting the team's Gold Coast base agreed, now the next step is to figure out what happens next.

"Otherwise what do we tell our staff?" asked Croot. "'Yeah, you might be working later in the season'. Do we put them on leave without pay? They've got mortgages to pay, families to look after and they need to be able to make decisions around that, as do the Warriors for financial security. At the moment we are being hamstrung by not knowing. It's our preference to play some games here, for our fans, our players, our bank balance and staff retention. But we need to know."

Like CEO Cameron George on Friday, Croot paid tribute to the resilience of the Warriors players, in choosing to stay across the Tasman.

"They wanted to play," said Croot. "It was just a matter of being able to work through and address some of the what-ifs."

"But it was massive. If they had come home en masse, and we couldn't get a team together over there, we would have been out of the competition [for 2020] and that would have had significant financial consequences for everyone involved in the club."

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