Warriors cautious on trans-Tasman travel bubble

Warriors forward Tohu Harris Photo: Photosport

The Warriors don’t plan to take advantage of the trans-Tasman travel bubble to move forward their return to New Zealand.

From 19 April travellers on flights between New Zealand and Australia will not need to go into Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) – opening up quarantine-free travel between the two countries.

The rugby league club reiterated on Tuesday that they will stay in Australia until 21 June.

At the outset of the NRL season the Warriors had planned to return to Auckland for their round five clash against Manly Sea Eagles on 9 April to be played at Mt Smart Stadium.

The club had started to sell tickets for the Sea Eagles match until it became clear that a trans-Tasman travel bubble would not be open in time.

Instead this game against the competition cellar-dwellers will be played at the Warriors’ temporary home of Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on Friday.

The Warriors first home game of the season in Auckland is now scheduled to be against St George Illawarra Dragons on 2 July.

The Warriors would leave Australia after their round 15 game against Newcastle Knights on 19 June in Newcastle to be back on home soil for one round before leaving again for their round 17 game in Sydney against the Cronulla Sharks on 11 July.

The NRL draw has five games locked in for Mt Smart Stadium with the Panthers, Sharks, Bulldogs and Raiders joining the Dragons in crossing the Tasman in the second half of the season.

Warriors second rower Tohu Harris said the players were comfortable waiting to get back home.

“At the moment we’re pretty happy where we are and the situation we’re in, but if we do get to go home then that’s a huge positive for us and the club,” Harris said.

Fans haven’t seen the Warriors at Mt Smart Stadium for nearly two years and Harris said the club was taking a cautious approach to getting games back in Auckland.

“Obviously there is a lot of things to go into it and we want to make sure it’s safe for us to go back without putting the competition in jeopardy so there’s a lot of things we need to consider.”

For lock Jazz Tevaga it has been a second season away from family.

While many of the players’ families did travel with the Warriors to Australia for the current season, Tevaga’s did not.

Tevaga said he was not focused on what the trans-Tasman bubble would mean for him but it would be “happy days” if his family decided to join him sooner rather than later.

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