NRL: ‘Five different schools’ – The ‘unfair’ sacrifices made by Warriors families

Some of the Warriors players’ kids have been to five different primary schools while the club has been stranded in Australia, it has been revealed.

The nomadic NRL club is preparing for a third consecutive season camped in Australia because of Covid-19, with the ARL commission expected to confirm that tomorrow.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George is pushing for the club to be based at Brisbane’s Redcliffe Dolphins, where the Warriors reserve graders have played for the past two seasons.

He has also written a paper for the NRL which includes a scenario in which the Warriors return to New Zealand, a very unlikely outcome at this point because of the forever changing border closure situations.

George told the Sydney Telegraph: “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 Warriors last played at Mt Smart Stadium two years ago and have been in Australia since early 2020. The squad was split into pre-season camps on both sides of the Tasman prior to the 2021 season. They have shifted around and are currently in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

George is looking for certainty so the team can start training by November 1, in preparation for the 2022 season.

He praised team owner Mark Robinson for his financial support and having the players’ best interests at heart. That would prevent an exodus of players wanting to quit and return home.

“Mark has been incredible,” George said.

But George said “everyone’s stress levels have started to go through the roof” as the season came to an end.

There were also concerns around the impact the Warriors’ absence from New Zealand was having on league in the country.

“We inspire young kids and hopefully what we’re doing here is doing that,” he said.

“If we can gradually start to take games back throughout next year we would love nothing more than to do that.”

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