The New Zealand Warriors' hellish two seasons on the road look set to continue.
In a cruel blow for the Warriors, the current COVID outbreak on the east coast of Australia, as well as New Zealand's own problems with the pandemic forced the Trans-Tasman travel bubble to be slammed shut weeks ago.
It originally caused the Warriors to lose their shot at a return home game against the Bulldogs a couple of weeks ago, but now looks like it'll cause bigger problems.
While Roger Tuivasa-Sheck left to take up a rugby opportunity back in New Zealand, and Leeson Ah Mau headed home to be with his family, the rest of the squad look like they'll be stuck in Australia for potentially the entire off-season.
Despite the fact the Wallabies have received exemption to travel for the Bledisloe Cup, the Warriors have been told they won't receive special exemption.
Warriors' CEO Cameron George told SEN Radio on Friday morning that the club are making plans to stay in Queensland throughout the summer and begin pre-season training at Redcliffe in November.
“At this point in time, we’re here indefinitely,” he said.
“As it stands now, we’re based on the Gold Coast.
“We don’t have any MIQ (Managed isolation and quarantine) spots booked to go back to New Zealand."
“But at this point in time with the borders shut, we’ve tried every avenue we can to get our players and staff back home, but we’re stuck here.
“We can’t even get a number of Australian players and staff (over there).
“They don’t have access to New Zealand because they’re not eligible to the criteria so we can’t even get half of our team home if we wanted to go through MIQ.
“We’re planning very proactively on starting pre-season training here at Redcliffe in November.
“No one has confidence in the borders, even if they do open, they can be shut very quickly."
The Warriors have fallen short in their push for the NRL finals, losing to the Canberra Raiders in a must-win game last weekend.