NRL: NZ Warriors cool on future Las Vegas jaunt, despite successful season launch at 'Sin City'

Players may be licking their lips at the prospect, but NZ Warriors coach Andrew Webster and captain Tohu Harris aren't sold on the idea of a future Las Vegas jaunt, despite a successful NRL season launch at 'Sin City'.

Four teams - Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos, Manly Sea Eagles and South Sydney Rabbitohs - made the trip to the US pleasure capital in a bid to promote the competition and rugby league code to a new audience, attracting 40,000 to Allegiant Stadium over the weekend.

Club chief executive greeted the proposal with indifference, when it was floated last year, but the promotion proved such a hit, many are expected to knock down the doors of NRL headquarters in Sydney for the chance to return over the next four years. 

Andrew Webster coaches, while Broncos forward Phil Carrigan samples 'Sin City'.
Andrew Webster coaches, while Broncos forward Phil Carrigan samples 'Sin City'. Photo credit: Photosport/Getty Images

Warriors players are understandably excited by the opportunity.

"I thought they were both top-quality games," grinned second-rower Kurt Capewell. "They were a great representation of our game overseas, a great initiative from the NRL and I can't wait for them to take the Warriors over there next year."

Winger Marcelo Montoya wants a seat on the plane next to him.

"I'd love to," he concurred. "You see the way it was put together and the field was awesome,.

"I'd love to go there and play just to make sure the touchlines aren't too close to the sideline. It was awesome to see the rugby league boys run into the wall and just get back up and play on.

"In NFL or soccer, they probably would have faked the injury or something."

The four teams that travelled have two weeks to recover from their onfield and off-field exertions before the second round, but Webster is wary of the dangerous distractions offered by Vegas.  

"I thought it was a great spectacle, I just don't want to control 17 lunatics after they play, that's all I'm worried about," he shrugged. "That's a joke, sort of...

"I thought the NRL did a great job, the players did a great job and what they put on was outstanding. Our time's going to come and if it comes, we'll embrace it and go for it.

"I'll hire 20 security guards after the game and they can look after the players."

Vegas is clearly not Harris' kind of town.

"I'm pretty happy here in Auckland," he said, as the Warriors prepare to open their account against Cronulla Sharks at home on Friday. "Go Media Stadium suits me fine."

Meanwhile, Webster is still trying to clear his players' reputations.

"Tohu will stay in his room, put his feet up and watch a movie," he observed. "Roger [Tuivasa-Sheck] is not a lunatic, but he might be out there with them, I guessing.

"They're not lunatics, they're a good bunch of boys, but Vegas does silly things to people."

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