The possibility of spending another season away from home is fast becoming a grim reality for the New Zealand Warriors.
The Warriors have been on the road for the best part of two years now, away from family and friends and there appears to be no real end in sight.
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that there will be a meeting on Tuesday where the ARL commission will discuss the Warriors plans. It is reported that while not the decision they want to come to, it seems all-but a done deal that the Warriors will be again based out of Australia.
To this point, the Warriors still don't know where they'll be commencing their pre-season training.
Warriors CEO Cameron George said that they are resigned to the fact going home isn't a viable option should they want to keep the competition alive for 2022.
“We’ve settled on the fact that we’ll continue to stay here on the Gold Coast because we absolutely have nowhere else to go,’’ George said.
“The important part for me was getting a roof over our club heading into the off season so no family, no individual is stressed or worried.
“My whole focus has been to create stability for the next 12-months for our footy club and that is sitting with the NRL now.
“I’ve put proposals to them to create that stability and I’ve tried to de-risk the scenario as much as possible so it doesn’t create a great deal of risk to the competition and also to the opposing teams.
“And most importantly, it gives our families, who have had five different homes this year...some of the children have been to five different schools this year.
“And that’s unfair. No one signs up for that.’’
The clubs had been based in Terrigal on the NSW central coast before moving again to their current base at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
George said it would be a "dream" to play out of New Zealand and live life as normal. But he acknowledges it is highly unlikely that they will be able to do that as early as next season.
“There’s only two options; be in New Zealand and live normally and travel to Australia 12 times a year. That is a dream for us. We would love nothing more than that,’’ George said.
“However, you can‘t be stupid and ignore the facts which is, we can’t even get home, so how are we even dreaming of playing in New Zealand.
“That’s clearly not an option and so then there’s the Australian-based option.
“If we‘re going to be based in Australia we’ve got to be set-up and ready to go by 1 November.
A current relationship with the Redcliffe Dolphins may be extended into another year according to George.
“We’ve got a relationship with Redcliffe. It provides us with a facility and with many different facets of high performance.
“Location-wise, QLD has been, as far as Covid-19 numbers go, the safest option
“So we believe with our relationship with Redcliff being our feeder-club, that would make a lot of sense.”