NRL 2021: Chief executive Andrew Abdo dismisses proposed NZ Warriors 'home' season

NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo has poured cold water over suggestions that NZ Warriors should be gifted an entire season of home games to make up for their road campaigns during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Auckland-based club hasn't hosted a home game since the 2019 season, with the coronavirus forcing them to relocate indefinitely across the Tasman to maintain the integrity of the 16-team competition.

The Warriors played all their games in Australia during 2020 and have committed to stay as long as it takes this year, while still hoping international borders can re-open to enable them some Mt Smart Stadium fixtures.

They have been overwhelmingly acclaimed for selflessly keeping the competition alive, but Warriors chief executive Cameron George has called on the NRL to repay his club by allowing them to play a full season of home games in 2021.

Not only would that even out the competitive imbalance of having to play on the road for two years, it would help ease the financial strain of no home gates over that period.

Abdo was quizzed about that prospect during a stoppage in Fox Sport TV coverage of the Warriors' 19-6 season-opening win over Gold Coast Titans.

"It wouldn't be Cameron not to ask," he chuckled. "I think it's a wonderful idea and a wonderful gesture.

"In all seriousness, it would be wonderful gesture, but I don't think we can do that.

"In all seriousness, how wonderful has it been for the Warriors to relocate and be so positive? The community has embraced them - this is their home-away-from-home.

"Hopefully, the borders open up and they get to play in front of their home crowd in New Zealand soon. They've just been terrific."

Playing at their 'home' ground of Central Coast Stadium, the Warriors began their season in the best-possible manner, scoring three converted tries against the Titans and allowing them only a late consolation try defensively.

Join us at 8pm Friday for live updates of the Warriors v Newcastle Knights NRL clash