The Warriors are waiting on vital information about player remuneration, before they can confirm their participation in a restarted competition.

Behind the scenes the club is preparing for a departure date this Sunday, and have been assessing the limited flight options to fly from Auckland this weekend after the NRL's confirmation on Tuesday night that matches would begin again in four weeks.

But it's believed the NRL has yet to communicate to the Warriors — or any of the other 15 clubs — an idea about the salary levels for players in the compressed competition, which is due to start on May 28.

While that is not an immediate issue for most of the other teams, especially the nine Sydney-based clubs, it is a show stopper for the Warriors.

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In less than five days the squad is expected to hop on a plane and wave goodbye to their families, for a stay across the Tasman that could extend to five or six months.

It's a staggering commitment, and the Herald understands the players have universally told management at the club, via the senior leadership group, that it is one they are prepared to make.

However, it is impossible to take the final decision without knowing how much they will be paid.

Player salaries have been frozen since the NRL was suspended, with an understanding that they would receive a revised amount if and when the season was restarted, under the agreement struck between the Rugby League Players Association and the governing body about a new salary cap, following the Covid-19 disruptions.

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The confirmation on Tuesday night that a 20-round competition will be going ahead was positive news, but short on one of the most crucial details.

The Warriors expect to get more details from the NRL soon, before getting final approval from the playing group.

There's no suggestion that the players won't go, but making such a decision in an information vacuum isn't feasible.


While it might be difficult to confirm exact figures, the players need to know the minimum baseline.

The Warriors are also waiting on the written confirmation of the Australian Federal government exemption for a border clearance for the players, coaches and football staff, which they will need to enter New South Wales before heading up the coast to the proposed quarantine base in Tamworth.

Warriors coach Stephen Kearney talks to his players at a training session before the NRL season was suspended. Photo / Photosport
Warriors coach Stephen Kearney talks to his players at a training session before the NRL season was suspended. Photo / Photosport

Once the players are settled into their training base, the club, in conjunction with the NRL will begin the next step; planning the logistics of relocation some of the wives, partners and children, and the visits of others.

Family members will also need border exemptions, but the players agreed it was pragmatic to focus on the team approval first, before applying on behalf of family, due to the volume of individuals and the complexity of the process.

Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V'landys confirmed the revised competition on Tuesday night, after extensive negotiations with broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sports across the weekend.

As well as an 18 week club season, the State of Origin series is expected to be played in November.

Training will recommence for all teams on May 4 and strict biosecurity measures will be introduced for players, club officials and staff.

The NRL said these protocols will be more strict than the current Australian public health guidelines and players will face sanctions if they breach the protocols.