In a private address to his teammates, Warriors star Roger Tuivasa-Sheck quashed reports of him walking out on the team.
Meanwhile, fellow teammate Tohu Harris has also indicated that he will not walk out on the Warriors should the club remain based in Australia in 2021.
With travel restrictions still in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Warriors are said to already be exploring the potential of being based in Redcliffe next year.
Super Rugby’s Auckland Blues have reportedly made contact with Warriors captain Tuivasa-Sheck to change codes to allow him to be in Auckland with his family.
If Tuivasa-Sheck was to make the code switch, he would be sacrificing a lot financially, which gives the Warriors plenty of optimism that a move of the such wouldn’t be as heavily considered.
Tuivasa-Sheck has a deal with the Warriors until 2022, while teammate Tohu Harris still has a year remaining on his contract and an early exit now seems unlikely.
“Rog addressed it with the group, [he said] ‘don’t believe the things that are written in the papers’ and things like that,” Harris told reporters.
“He’s fully focused on this year. His family are still back in Auckland and I feel for him.
“It’s been really hard for him to be away from his family but he’s still focusing day-by-day and bringing energy to the group.
“He addressed the group head on and squashed it.
“He’s committed to this team. He wants to make sure that we’re playing as well as we can for as long as we can.
“I think people are hearing rumours about us being in Australia next year and trying to put two and two together with his family still in New Zealand.
“We can’t put too much time into different theories. We’re focusing on what we can control and that’s how we perform over here.”
Talking about his own future with the Warriors, Harris said he doesn’t know where the report came from saying he could leave the club.
“I honestly don’t even know where that came from.” Harris said.
“I haven’t put any thought into that report. I just don’t know where that popped up.
“[Relocating in 2021] was always a chance of happening with the unpredictability of COVID. But honestly we haven’t thought that far ahead.”
A huge focus has been on how the Warriors would cope with the relocation to Australia in 2020.
David Fusitu’a, Ken Maumalo, Agantius Paasi, Leivaha Pulu and King Vuniyayawa all returned home when it was made known that they would not be allowed to have family in Australia because of the border restrictions, which made things tougher for the Warriors.
Despite the tough circumstances of 2020, the Warriors have won their last two games and sit just four points outside of the top eight.
Harris said the Warriors aren’t looking too far ahead and are taking it one day at a time.
“I think over the past couple of weeks we’ve spoken about not looking too far ahead,” Harris said.
“Even not looking to next week, we’re taking it a day at a time.
“If we look to far ahead we lose sight of all the well-being of our team. All the young guys living away from home for the first time, it’s a daily thing we’ve got to check in and make sure everyone’s alright.”