The New Zealand Warriors have confirmed they are interested in hosting Anzac Day rugby league in 2024.

On what is one of the most important days on the calendar in both Australia and New Zealand, the NRL have regularly held two matches.

They are the St George Illawarra Dragons and Sydney Roosters in Sydney at 4pm, and the evening match at 7pm between the Melbourne Storm and New Zealand Warriors, held in Melbourne.

Those matches have been held every year since 2016, with that year also featuring an earlier game on what was a Monday in Newcastle. The year before that, Anzac Day was a Saturday featuring a five-game smorgasbord of rugby league.

In that year - 2015 - the Warriors hosted a game against the Gold Coast Titans, with years prior to that also seeing them feature in games against the Storm.

But on the back of spending years located in Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic, and their success in 2023, the Warriors have confirmed they want to host a game that round in Auckland, even if it's not on Anzac Day.

“It's a good thing for both the game and us,” New Zealand Warriors CEO Cameron George told The Sydney Morning Herald recently.

“The game should have a presence in New Zealand during a round that is honouring Anzacs.

“We love the challenge of going to Melbourne and trying to win, but that's not the point. The point is New Zealand deserve a game on Anzac Round because of our role on Anzac Day and what Anzac stands for.

“We want to try to do what's best for the game in New Zealand. We really want to build the game in New Zealand. You've seen the response from the public in New Zealand this year and how much they enjoy it. This will be a good step for the NRL.”

NRL Rd 16 - Warriors v Wests Tigers

While George would be happy to accept a game during the Anzac weekend, that shouldn't be the way the Warriors are rewarded, either.

Anzac Day is such an important day on the calendar, and the Warriors should be playing, but breaking the tradition of them playing against the Storm could end the idea of them playing every year. It's why the Dragons have not recently made a fuss.

Yes, they play their home game every second year at the Roosters' home grounds, be it the Sydney Cricket Ground or Allianz Stadium, but they don't care, such is the importance of playing on that day each year.

The Warriors had regularly large attendances in 2023, and this is now the chance to keep the Warriors-Storm tradition going with a game on the other side of the Tasman every second year.

It doesn't have to be rocket science, but the Storm and Warriors is now a traditional fixture. There is a way to keep that going and give both sides a home game every second year.

And that's not to say the Storm do a bad job of hosting - their light show and pre-game formalities are excellent. But it's time for the Warriors to have a chance at reciprocating.

Obviously, time difference could be something of an issue, but the easy fix is for the Warriors to play in the 4pm time slot when at home (6pm local), followed by the Dragons and Roosters playing in the evening game.

That is a fix likely to talk to Channel 9 in 2024 too - Anzac Day is on a Thursday, so playing the Dragons and Roosters in prime time, to a national TV audience on a public holiday makes the world of sense.

If the Dragons and Roosters have to stay in the 4pm time slot through logistical issues, then the fix is just as simple. Play the Warriors and Storm at 2pm (4pm local time), and have a third game on Thursday evening, potentially in Brisbane as they host the Titans or Dolphins at a packed out Suncorp Stadium in the free-to-air TV game.

It will, to an extent, leave the rest of the weekend skinny for rugby league content, but to get the Warriors a home game on one of the most important days on the calendar, it is well and truly worth it.

The NRL and their Australian-based clubs have talked a big game about repaying the Warriors for the sacrifices they made during the pandemic, but at this stage, the only club who have followed through are the Wests Tigers after they took a home game across the ditch in 2023.

It's time for the game in Australia to put its money where it's mouth is, and a home game on Anzac Day for the Warriors is a way to start the process.