NRL: Warriors could be unfortunate casualty of mooted 15-team competition

Warriors Coach Stephen Kearney at a press conference after round 2. Picture: FILE.

The NRL is desperate to get back under way as soon as possible, and a 15 team competition is one of the options being floated.

That would have dire consequences for the Warriors, with New Zealand’s strict border restrictions meaning they could be the casualty in an amended amended format.

A final decision on when the competition can restart is expected by April 21.

The NRL is targeting late May or early June, which would force the Warriors to remain out of the picture.

The Daily Telegraph reported that if the Warriors withdrew, that would have a knock-on effect for all of the clubs too, particularly with the way byes are structured into the season.

However, Warriors chief executive Cameron George said he was confident any rugby league played this year would include his club.

“I’m optimistic things are starting to take shape over here and go in the right direction,” he said.

“I’m hearing a lot of different things that the Government may start relaxing (the lockdown) in the next couple of weeks.”

Plenty of options for an early return to p lay have already been explored.

The NRL even suggested it would work with the New Zealand government to allow the Kiwi club a special dispensation to leave the country, if they then self isolated in Australia for 14 days.

Then there’s the NRL island, the plan to take the entire competition and its 16, or 15 teams, to an island off the coast of queensland to see out the remainder of the season.

But that has its own challenges and risks.

Whatever the NRL decide, chief executive Todd Greenberg and ARLC chairman Peter V’landys have just over a two weeks before they put their proposal to a commission on a potential start date and revised structure to the competition.

 

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