NRL 2020: NRL clubs, fans applaud Warriors' commitment to see out season

The NRL world has hailed the NZ Warriors for their "unbelievable" sacrifice, after their decision to stay in Australia for as long as it takes to finish the season.

That's despite new border restrictions which prevent their family from flying over to support them.

It's the decision the code and fans were desperate to hear, but their commitment to the game will need all the help they can get.  

"The team and families have made a decision to stay in the competition," says Warriors chief executive Cameron George. "Stand tall, stand proud."

That stand of defiance followed a week of uncertainty for the club. 

"I'm just really proud of [captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and coach Stephen Kearney] and the boys - and their families - for making this decision," said George. 

Their sacrifice was made even greater last night, after Australia and New Zealand's new border restrictions meant families are no longer able to join them on the Gold Coast.

Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck & Chanel Harris-Tavita training at Kingscliff
Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck & Chanel Harris-Tavita training at Kingscliff.

"The game needs us," said George. "The game is really struggling at the moment. 

"I feel like our guys thought, if they walked away, it might have started to crack the game." 

That reality probably hit home for veteran forward Adam Blair on Friday, as he celebrated his birthday, via the phone with his wife and kids. 

But their commitment also met a chorus of support from all corners of the rugby league community, with all 15 clubs and their fans throwing support behind the Auckland side. 

"You have to commend the Warriors for the selfless way they're going about it to keep the competition going," said Manly Sea Eagles coach Des Hasler. 

 To stay in Australia, the Warriors are relying on the NRL to get them through.

"They're very thankful," said George. "They're very considerate of what the players and families are going through." 

The Warriors were well beaten by the Newcastle Knights in the season-opener, but In the space of a week, they've gone from down and out to the heroes of the NRL.

Join us at 5pm Saturday for live updates of the Warriors v Raiders NRL clash