Warriors forward Tohu Harris says the knowledge he is keeping other people in employment is helping him get over the heartache of being separated from his family.

But it clearly isn't easy, as the team prepares for the May 28 NRL kickoff in a pandemic-hit world.

In a video interview from the Warriors' quarantine base in Tamworth, New South Wales, Harris has admitted it was hard to get on the plane which took the 31 players and 18 officials on their journey into the unknown this week. They could be away for months.

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Much of the emotional stress the players and staff will be feeling has been relayed second-hand, but Harris - who left his wife and three-year-old boy behind - didn't fudge the situation when given the chance to talk.

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"We're waiting for the different protocols and calls from the Government to see what our options are in terms of them coming over," he said of his wife and son.

"To be honest it was very hard saying goodbye. My little three-year-old kept asking to come with me.

Tohu Harris was training with his son Harlan, 3, before he went off to Australia. Photo / Photosport
Tohu Harris was training with his son Harlan, 3, before he went off to Australia. Photo / Photosport

"My wife struggled really badly the night before (Sunday's flight) and in the morning with the thought of me leaving and not knowing when we can see each other.

"It made it very hard to get on the plane. I saw a video of my son just before this call asking me to come home and play with him.

"We don't really have other options at the moment — a lot of other people rely on us to be here so they can get income and help their families. So that's what I've got to keep reminding myself of, why I'm here.

"It's very hard to be away from my wife and son and not being able to see them. We can't look too far ahead, hope for the best … adjust once we get told otherwise."

Harris, who was raised in Hastings, Hawke's Bay, thought the families left behind were "probably doing it tougher than we are at the moment".

He has been making video calls home five or six times a day, in what sounds like his main activity apart from training.

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And those training sessions, where a maximum of 10 players and one coach can be on the field, sound quite bizarre under the Covid-19 safety rules.

They are using socks to play a form of ripper rugby, because tackles are banned under no-contact rules.

"We are not allowed to touch someone purposely with our hands — sometimes it is very hard to avoid," he said.

"It's a little bit weird on the field, having to stick to small groups," he said.

Tohu Harris before leaving for Tamworth in north west New South Wales. Photo / Photosport
Tohu Harris before leaving for Tamworth in north west New South Wales. Photo / Photosport

While coach Stephen Kearney thought some players had lost significant muscle mass in lockdown, Harris said testing showed they were in good shape thanks to backyard training in Auckland.

Everything is at least a little different. Tamworth is a world renowned country music stronghold, and the big screen in their weights room is set on the country channel.

But back in their individual rooms, where visitors are not allowed, Harris says life for him takes on a familiar tone.

"Leeson Ah Mau is pretty much the same as me," he said.

"We just lock ourselves in our room and connect with our wives at home. That's pretty normal for us even when we're not in quarantine. I'm very comfortable in my room and I enjoy spending my time with my family."

In this bizarre world, the complex staff must keep their distance, and the only other Tamworth person they have met is the bus driver.

"I've just got to keep reminding myself why I'm here — we have a lot of hard working staff who rely on us being here.

"If being here helps them, that's something I have to do."