NRL Rd 4 - Panthers v Warriors
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Eliesa Katoa of the Warriors looks on during the round four NRL match between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors at Campbelltown Stadium on June 05, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Warriors pair Eliesa Katoa and Selestino Ravutaumada won’t be allowed to return to New Zealand at the end of the NRL season, reports Stuff.

The duo were given given exemptions from the Australian Border Force to travel with the rest of the Warriors squad on May 3.

But the club has been told by the New Zealand Government that both players are banned from returning to Auckland due to COVID restrictions, which block non citizens from entering.

Katoa and Ravutaumada have both lived in New Zealand on work visas for numerous years but are not citizens of the country.

Warriors CEO Cameron George was ‘devastated’ by the news given everything that the pair have contributed to the country.

“We’ve been advised that they won’t be permitted entry back into the country due to their status, which is devastating for us to hear,” George told Stuff.

“The kids have been schooling here for a number of years, contributing to the economy in many different ways, have had the credentials and authorisation to live in New Zealand with their visas and they’re over there representing our country in the NRL.

“But what are we going to do with them now? They’ve go not family in Australia and it’s just another major bump in our road for 2020.”


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