Coronavirus: Warriors unclear on David Fusitu'a, Nathaniel Roache return

NZ Warriors coach Stephen Kearney may head into the first game of the restarted NRL season without two players.

On Sunday, David Fusitu'a missed the team's chartered flight to their new base in Tamworth for personal reasons, while illness meant Nathaniel Roache also had to stay in New Zealand.

While Roache has tested negative to COVID-19, and both he and Fusitu'a hope to be Australia-bound in a week's time, they may be subject to the country's standard 14-day self-isolation protocol in a hotel room, instead of rejoining the squad to train throughout that quarantine period.

That would leave precious few days to get up to speed and match fit, before play resumes on May 28.

"We'll work through that over the next week in terms of what potentially that may look like," Kearney says.

"He [Fusitu’a] may have to go into self-isolation in a hotel room, so that's obviously a worst-case scenario, which we've made him well aware of.

"We'll see if we can keep talking with the Australian Federal and state governments to see if we can help him out with that process.

"The worst-case scenario will be that he gets locked in a hotel room, a bit like Brandon Smith down in Melbourne, when he returned."

The Warriors are yet to learn who, when and where they'll play first when the competition restarts, but expect to be informed at some stage this week.

On Monday, all clubs were able to return to training, but only in groups of 10 that include one trainer or coach.

Kearney admits it's taken some time to work off the rust caused by their extensive lockdown period.

"Six weeks without a great deal of ball work... we'll start early on the fundamentals," he says.

"Catching and passing, we often take for granted, so we'll start there first and try to fast-track that as quickly as possible."

Kearney had also noticed a considerable drop in size in his players, due to the lack of sufficient weight-training resources at their homes.

"Looking at a lot of them, they probably haven't been doing the bigger weights, so I can see the muscle mass has dropped," he notes.

"It's really important over the next three weeks there's enough time to get them up to speed. It'll mean a lot of hard work, but I'm sure they'll be ready for it.

"The physical part of the training, we want to make sure we get back into a physical state that helps us compete at NRL level."