Coronavirus: Warriors putting on brave face after NRL season closes down

NZ Warriors chief executive Cameron George insists his club is staying positive, despite the financial hardship about to hit the NRL, with the 2020 season shutting down on Monday night.

Faced with an increasingly gloomy forecast over the spread of coronavirus across Australia and New Zealand, the Aussie rugby league competition suspended its season, closing down its headquarters to all but a skeleton staff.

League icon Phil Gould has predicted dire consequences for the 16 clubs, some of which he fears will not survive the setback.

But George was determined not to wave the white flag, when confronted by media.

"It's going to be massive," he admitted. "It's devastating for our club, it's devastating for our sport, it's devastating for New Zealand, it's devastating for our fans, members and sponsors, but no more devastating than to our players, their family and our staff.

"We worked really hard over the summer and really wanted a big year for our fans. At the end of the day, to have that taken away from you due to circumstances that are very sad for everyone around the globe is really challenging.

"The impact it will have on our club - short, mid and long term - will be felt for a long time."

But George maintained he had not asked owners to dig a little deeper into their pockets to help through the crisis.

"We don't need any more funding at this stage," he said. "The comp only got called off yesterday.

"At this point in time, we're certainly in a position where we've just got to manage ourselves sensibly over the forthcoming month. Like any business in New Zealand, we'll be facing the same challenges."

As most clubs cut costs - and staff - George refrained from speculating on the future for his employees.

"We're positive about everything - we're not letting negativity come into our organisation at all.

"Our staff are being looked after - some are on leave, some are still here working with us, as we tidy up over the next 24 hours.

"We're positive about what the outlook is going to be. We have to have an environment that supports our staff, players and families through this.

"We don't let negativity walk through in that front door."