The Warriors' ongoing participation in whatever is left of the 2020 season depends on the club being able to reach agreement with the NRL on several key conditions.
Although the NRL season is up in the air — it seems a matter of when, not if, it is put on hold or postponed as the Covid-19 outbreak spreads through Australasia. At the time of writing the competition is ongoing, and the governing body are determined to forge ahead, even if it might be for only for a few more weeks.
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The Warriors are a key plank of that strategy but will need to be Australian-based for the foreseeable future.
The club is prepared to take that step, contingent on several conditions.
●Firstly, that the NRL cover the costs of being based across the Tasman.
●Secondly, that they allow the Warriors to potentially loan players from next week onwards, and provide salary cap relief so they can be paid.
●Thirdly, and most importantly from the players' point of view, that the NRL support and finance visits from the squad's wives, partners and children.
If the NRL agree to that, it is much more likely the playing group will commit to staying in Australia for an indefinite period.
Until now the team has agreed only to stay until the end of round two, although owner Mark Robinson, chairman Rob Croot and CEO Cameron George have had positive discussions with the team's leadership group this week.
The players are now much more open to remaining in Australia for an extended period, even if it might only be weeks rather than months.
"If we are staying for an indefinite period, we need all the support we can get," said club CEO Cameron George.
"Our players have been asked to relocate to another country — unplanned —and continue to play in the competition, away from their families. If that is the case, then we need to make sure they have everything that their normal lives provide them, as much as is possible."
That includes time with wives, partners and children, and George indicated that "a number" of families had indicated they would like to make the trip.
"But who pays, where do they go, where do they stay ... that all needs to be sorted out, in terms of logistics," said George.
Wives, partners and children would be required to be in isolation for 14 days on arrival in Australia, and wouldn't be able to stay near the team's Kingscliff base in northern NSW for that reason. After that fortnight, they could relocate to the same area.
Meanwhile, the Warriors say they are close to locking down some loan players, who could be added as early as next week.
There are 23 players in Australia at coach Stephen Kearney's disposal (four are on development contracts) with another four sent over on Wednesday, although they won't be available until early April (due to isolation requirements)
"There is certainly a chance it [loan players] could happen next week ... it's not unrealistic," Warriors recruitment boss Peter O'Sullivan told the Herald. "We need to re-calibrate after injuries and other things we can't foresee [this weekend]. We have some balls being juggled in the air and soon we will be clearer about what we need in the next few weeks and beyond."
O'Sullivan has spoken to most clubs — "apart from the ones who are in dire straits with injuries themselves" — and believes Wednesday's cancellation of the second tier state Cup competitions could also change the dynamic.
"If they can't play reserve grade, the best way to get a run could be giving them a couple of weeks with us," said O'Sullivan. "If players are coming back from injury, they might need a gallop."