NRL Rd 16 - Warriors v Wests Tigers
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 03: Tohu Harris and Shaun Johnson of the Warriors lead the team out during the round 16 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Wests Tigers at Mt Smart Stadium, on July 03, 2022, in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

The New Zealand Warriors' return home in 2023 on a fulltime basis has left them as the NRL team who will spend longer in the air than any other in 2023, Zero Tackle analysis can reveal.

Following Thursday's draw reveal, we have crunched the numbers to reveal that the New Zealand Warriors are expected to spend a staggering 83 hours on board an aeroplane during 2023.

That is of course because they will make 11 trips across the Tasman, with the only Australian-based team bothering to take a game to New Zealand being the Wests Tigers, who will play the Warriors in Hamilton - requiring no flight and instead only a 90 minute drive down the freeway.

At the other end of the scale, the Manly Sea Eagles are the side with the least amount of airport visits in 2023, only being required to jump on a plane three times.

Given one of those trips is to Auckland, it does blow their flight time out to 12 hours and 55 minutes, but they still have the most comfortable travel schedule - in saying that, they might need it, with analysis also revealing they have the toughest draw when it comes to opposition alongside the Brisbane Broncos.

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The North Queensland Cowboys and Melbourne Storm, who will spend the second and third-most amount of time in the air during 2023, are the only team who have to jump on a plane every single time they play away - the Storm have 13 trips thanks to magic round in Brisbane being a home game.

The Dolphins and Brisbane Broncos - despite their long run of games at Suncorp Stadium - will also do plenty of travelling, with the Broncos needing to find their way to Napier to play the Warriors and to Darwin to play the Eels in a pair of games that have added plenty to their travel schedule.

Of the Sydney clubs, the South Sydney Rabbitohs - who are one of four clubs making the trek to Perth - but also have trips to Cairns and Auckland, have drawn the shortest straw.

All of the Rabbitohs, Canberra Raiders, St George Illawarra Dragons and Newcastle Knights come in ahead of the Gold Coast Titans, who have the easiest travel schedule of those teams not based in New South Wales.

Here is the amount of time your NRL team will spend in the air during 2023.

Team Hours on plane Number of trips
Warriors 83h 10m 11
Cowboys 66h 50m 12
Storm 47h 20m 13
Dolphins 40h 40m 10
Broncos 38h 50m 8
Rabbitohs 36h 5m 8
Raiders 34h 15m 6
Dragons 29h 55m 7
Knights 28h 20m 6
Titans 27h 45m 9
Tigers 26h 10m 7
Roosters 21h 55m 6
Sharks 20h 25m 5
Panthers 20h 20m 6
Bulldogs 18h 25m 5
Eels 17h 30m 5
Sea Eagles 12h 55m 3

 

Note: Flight time relates to the scheduled time of a flight by the quickest route possible, including connections where necessary.

Flights were mainly used for interstate travel, as well as to locations such as Tamworth and Bundaberg. Flights were not used between Sydney and Canberra or Sydney and Newcastle, as well as some other regional games. For games marked with venues still to be announced, it was assumed that they would played in the home team's region.

It was also assumed that teams would fly home after each away game, whereas sometimes they may hold a training camp if playing multiple away games in the same area back-to-back.