NRL 2021: Warriors senior players resigned to season away from home, focused on performance

The NZ Warriors playing group have already accepted they will spend the rest of the year in Australia.

Newshub reported on Wednesday the club is resigned to the fact they won't be back in action in Auckland during 2021, although CEO Cameron George insists a final decision will be made next week.

But for skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, he and his players have already come to terms with that possibility and are instead focused on performing on the field - with no excuses. 

That means calling Tuggerah, on the New South Wales Central Coast, home for the duration of the campaign.

"That's something we're already addressed - as a group we realised we're here for the long stint," Tuivasa-Sheck tells Newshub.

"You just don't know what's around the corner.

 "Just to give boys that focus that we're here for the long run and prepare for that - it helps the boys settle in and get ready for what's ahead. 

Tickets remain on sale for the team's scheduled home match in 5 weeks, against Manly Sea Eagles, at Mount Smart Stadium.

But even if they could get home, getting back poses an even bigger potential problem.

"It doesn't appear we can go home," CEO Cameron George told Newshub on Wednesday.

"The borders are too restrictive on that basis. You can open them up, but then they need to stay open for us to be able to travel back and forth. 

Predicting how a season will unfold in the middle of a pandemic is difficult at the best of times, but even so, when the Warriors started training in Australia at the start of the year, they thought the risk was still very low that they would end up stuck across the Tasman for a second season.

"It obviously would be great if we can go back and play in front of a home crowd - feels like it's been a long time now," says veteran forward Tohu Harris.

August 2019 represents the last time the Warriors ran out in front of their adoring fans at Mount Smart Stadium and that is tough to take for the supporters, the players and club officials. 

"It's going to impact our club. It's year on year we're away, but it's just the world at the moment, and we've got to deal with it like other business owners," George says.

And the first order of business - is the comfort of the team and their families. 

"We'll do what's best for families and players - that's crucial - and we'll make every decision based on that. 

"But sometimes it's not the most popular decision for the game and our fans."

The call to remain in Australia now seems inevitable for New Zealand's only NRL club.