'Sleep on it': Warriors players prepared for further sacrifice in NRL restart

Warriors leave the field after the round 2 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium on March 21, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Warriors boss Cameron George says his players are prepared to once again subject themselves to bouts of isolation and time away from their families to make the NRL work.

George broke the news to his staff and players on Thursday afternoon that a May 28 restart has been identified by the ARL Commission and that they face potentially four months apart from those closest to them.

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While many details are to be ironed out, the Auckland-based Warriors will absorb the most disruption of any club. They will be unable to return home until their involvement in the competition finishes.

On a video conference that numbered 55 participants, chief executive George asked his club personnel to consider the sacrifice required.

It won't be anything new for Stephen Kearney's team, who set up base in Kingscliff, south of the Gold Coast, for 10 days last month in a bid to keep the competition going, without knowing when they would be returning home.

Those players and staff have just completed 14 days of self-isolation and, under current Australian regulations, will need to do the same again from early to mid-May.

‘Sleep on it’: Warriors boss

George instructed his players to "sleep on it" when considering the disruption to their lives and consult with the team's leadership group, who will meet George on Friday.

"What I do see and hear around the place is that players are willing to look at every opportunity that they can to be a part of the competition," George said.

"I know the NRL share that desire as well, which is really pleasing.

"With that comes a number of constraints and a number of policy requirements that we have to adopt if we were to go to Australia."

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck of the Warriors warms up before the round 2 NRL match between the New Zealand Warriors and the Canberra Raiders at Cbus Super Stadium on March 21, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

"The NRL are working very hard behind the scenes with the governing agencies to see what that could look like. At this point in time, it's still very unclear... but we're certainly very keen to explore the opportunity to be in the competition."

The NRL was reportedly seeking an exemption from the New Zealand government for the Kiwi club to cross the Tasman.

George believed there would be no problem gaining such clearance but said there would be complications about returning to a country which is currently under a tight lockdown and is not likely to loosen international visitor restrictions for some time.