Warriors extend Tamworth lockdown stay

Daniel Gilhooly and Melissa Woods
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NRL WARRIORS TRAINING

Karl Lawton (left) passing to Peta Hiku during a New Zealand Warriors training session in Tamworth

Karl Lawton says the Warriors had no hesitation in restarting their two-week quarantine in Tamworth to welcome late arrival Nathaniel Roache.

Fellow hooker Roache arrived at their team headquarters on Thursday night after missing their original trans-Tasman flight last Sunday when he presented with flu-like symptoms.

Roache was set to undergo self-isolation in a Sydney hotel for a fortnight until a joint call was made by the coaching staff and leadership group to bring him into the fold, which meant restarting their own quarantine period.

"It was a good decision, as the last thing you want is to be locked up in a room for two weeks by yourself," Lawton said after their Saturday training run.

"We were going to be here a bit extra anyway so we've only extended one day in quarantine, so it wasn't a big hit to us and he's definitely happy he's in the hands of the boys."

Lawton said Roache was able to slot straight in to their "bubble".

"He can just train normal like us," the former Titan said.

It means the squad will now depart for their Gosford base on March 21 - a week out from the competition's planned resumption.

Lawton said the players were excited about taking another step up with contact training resuming Monday.

"We are ready to go - you do miss contact after a while so all the boys are going to get in there and go hard and rip heads off," he said.

"It will be a good hit-out on Monday and a good first test for us all."

Australian-born Lawton said the Warriors players had been embraced by the country music capital, with their only concern being putting on too much weight.

"They've done a really good job of welcoming us in and making us feel comfortable," he said.

"The food's been unreal - I think the boys might be weighing in a bit heavy after this."

Outside back David Fusitu'a is the only Warriors squad member not in Tamworth, having asked to remain in Auckland for personal reasons.

Fusitu'a isn't expected to travel for about a week, meaning he'll undergo self-isolation and will miss at least the first game, and potentially more depending on his fitness.