The Warriors have agreed to remain in Australia for at least another three weeks, after which players may start requesting to return home.

The club met with the NRL on Saturday to seek clarity and understanding around the application process for getting the players' families into the country. Some players have already been joined by their partners in Australia, while the others are getting restless and looking for answers.

Speaking to the Herald, Warriors chief executive Cameron George acknowledged that some players could potentially return to New Zealand if their families aren't cleared to enter Australia.

"It's always been an option. Even before we left the country, we knew that that was a possibility and every player has always had that option on the table – that's never been taken away," George said.


"These guys, for personal reasons, have been chasing clarity. What they've said is it's time to call it one way or another. We've just worked through that over the last week and that's where it's at.

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"We agreed with the NRL that we'd give it a few weeks, after the Sharks game I think it is, at which point, by then we're all expecting – NRL included – that we'll have a lot more understanding of where the situation's at," George said.

"It's not just parking it for the next couple of weeks. We've never just parked it, we've never not been chasing or anything like that. The players, I spoke to them last week, it was good for the NRL to meet with the players as well; (Chairman) Peter V'landys and (chief executive) Andrew Abdo.

"We'll continue that dialogue until we understand and things come to hand. The one thing we all know is it's out of the hands of the club. It was out of our hands since the middle of May really. We've just been chasing and chasing. It's in the hands of the NRL and Government in Australia."

The meeting with the NRL comes on the back of two tumultuous weeks for the Warriors which saw them dispatched by the South Sydney Rabbitohs and Melbourne Storm, and Stephen Kearney fired as head coach.

Over the next three weeks, the Warriors get an easier run, facing fellow strugglers in the Brisbane Broncos, Gold Coast Titans and Cronulla Sharks.

George said the NRL were positive about trying to get the players' families over to Australia, however the constantly changing environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has made things difficult with a transtasman bubble unlikely to be established any time soon.

"Things have changed dramatically from where they were six weeks ago where I think we all could've been sitting here thinking 'ah well, I'm pretty sure we're going to be coming home for a home game soon'. That's shifted dramatically in the last couple of weeks given what's happened on both sides of the Tasman. If there's a transtasman bubble, this is a moot point."

The Warriors fell to 2-5 this season after their loss to the Melbourne Storm. Photo / Getty Images
The Warriors fell to 2-5 this season after their loss to the Melbourne Storm. Photo / Getty Images

George's comments followed those made by interim head coach Todd Payten following Friday night's 50-6 loss to the Storm, who said no one would stand in the way of players wanting to return to their families.


It was among a number of topics covered by Payten following the loss, noting a lack of effort from his team and too many defensive lapses.

When asked if the poor performance could be attributed in part to the uncertain circumstances the players find themselves in, Payten didn't mince words.

"Everyone misses their family, but that's still not a good enough reason to perform the way we're performing. That should be the reason we're pulling our finger out and fight – to do our families justice and all the people back home. But we're a million miles away."