New Zealand Warriors granted border security exemption to enter Australia for NRL season


V’landys continued discussions with Foxtel boss Patrick Delany and Nine boss Hugh Marks on Monday, and is hopeful to have a competition structure for 2020 sorted in the next 24 hours.

The clarity around broadcast revenue, the major source of income for the NRL, will in turn allow the code to determine how much money will be allocated to the players.

The New Zealand Warriors have been given permission to enter Australia by border security.Credit:AAP

“We appreciate the federal government working with us to obtain a possible exemption to allow the Warriors to come into the country,” V’landys told the Herald. “We are now working with the NSW state government to get approval that will allow them to train while in isolation.”

The border security exemption will mean a major obstacle has been cleared by the league in its bid to return on May 28. The next step will be convincing the NSW government to allow the Warriors to potentially base themselves in Tamworth.

If denied, the Warriors will have to be quarantined at a hotel for 14 days, which would likely delay the start of the competition by two weeks given the pledge from all coaches to begin training as soon as their New Zealand rivals were able to.

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“There was a precedent set when the Warriors were here last time,” V’landys said. “They had five players come over to replace the players that went back to New Zealand on compassionate grounds, and they were allowed to stay in a facility and train similarly with what we wish to do now.”

“There will be a facility in which there is absolutely zero risk to the community. They will be the only people on the property for 14 days and any staff will be remaining with them for that period. There’s nobody in the vicinity of where they want to stay.”

The Warriors had been growing frustrated with the delay, with word getting back to the NRL that players were considering not travelling to Australia on Sunday unless they had an answer by Wednesday or Thursday.

V’landys has assured the Warriors the wait is almost over.

“We appreciate there’s a bit of frustration,” he said. “Hopefully we will get the state government answer tomorrow, but if not tomorrow by Wednesday.”

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