NRL 2021: Commissioner Peter V'landys hopes to jump COVID vaccine queue for NZ Warriors home games

Australian Rugby League commissioner Peter V'landys will ask the Australian Federal Government for players to jump the COVID-19 vaccine queue, so NZ Warriors can host home games during the 2021 season.

The Auckland-based Warriors have had to move their first-grade team across the Tasman for the second consecutive year, as the Aussie league competition prepares for another season under coronavirus protocols.

Their last home game at Mt Smart Stadium seems like forever ago - a 31-10 loss to South Sydney Rabbitohs was August 30, 2019 - and they played the entire 2020 campaign offshore.

But the Sydney Morning Herald reports V'landys is preparing a submission to federal authorities, asking that NRL players and staff be among the third tier of vaccine recipients, along with critical and high-risk workers.

"Emergency workers have got to get it first and the most vulnerable have got to get it first," says V'landys.

"Who is after that? Well, that's where we come in.

"Under no circumstances are we going to jump the gun, and go before emergency workers and the most vulnerable, but after that, there's naturally some decisions to be had to be on that list relatively high."

The bid would follow a similar submission from Cricket Australia, which wants its test players vaccinated before undertaking next month's tour of South Africa.

While Australian cricket players union chair Greg Dyer has slammed the move as "morally indefensible", V'landys intends following suit.

"I understand what Cricket Australia is trying to do. They're trying to go for a tour and naturally they want to protect the health of their players, so I've got nothing against what they've tried to do.

"We want Australian players going over to New Zealand as well."

The Warriors are currently committed to playing their first four games in Australia, but hope to return home for their round five fixture against Manly Sea Eagles on April 9.

Last year, the NRL set the standard for operating a sports competition under COVID-19 conditions, imposed strict bio-security restrictions on players and staff to keep the virus out.