NRL 2020: NZ Warriors granted dispensation to sign loan players ahead of season relaunch

The NRL has granted the NZ Warriors dispensation to acquire loan players from other clubs just days out from the competition restarting.

Ravaged by several long-term injuries, particularly in the forward pack, the Warriors are desperate to restock their playing roster with NRL ready talent.

Jazz Tevaga, Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei are all unlikely to feature in the 2020 campaign, while experienced prop Leeson Ah Mau is out for at least eight weeks. 

The club had an initial request denied by the NRL last week, but the Warriors have received backing from rival clubs and former players given the enormous sacrifice at play.

Premiership winners Paul Gallen and Sam Thaiday announced during the week they would be willing to answer an SOS call if the Warriors come calling, and now the NRL has come to the party. 

NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley confirmed the league's decision on The Continuous Call Team on Saturday afternoon.

"They've been given that [dispensation] only a few hours ago," he said.

"All clubs were notified that the Warriors will be given that dispensation.

"The salary cap auditor has used discretion to give that approval subject to the [ARL] Commission ultimately signing off on that, that's been done.

"Everyone appreciates the extreme lengths the Warriors have gone to, to try and bring this competition back to life.

"Once the Commission signs off on the rule, the same rule will apply to all clubs subject to meeting the guidelines of course."

One player rumoured to be in the sights of the Warriors is Dragons youngster Eddie Blacker.

Coach Paul McGregor confirmed on Friday he would be prepared to loan the prop forward to the New Zealand club as it benefits all parties. 

"It can't be a negative on the team, club or player himself. He's got to want to do it," McGregor said.

North Queensland coach Paul Green would also be prepared to offer a loan player to the beleaguered club. 

"They have made a few sacrifices as a club and if they need help we have to look at how we can help them across the board," Green said.

"There is also the risk of injury, we are on reduced squads, everyone has only got 32 players, there's also that to consider."

The Warriors will resume their season next Saturday against the Dragons at Central Coast Stadium.

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