Warriors can’t guarantee every player will commit to NRL relocation

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Stephen Kearney can’t guarantee if every Warriors player will be on the plane when or if the NRL club flies to Australia to begin their marathon NRL commitment.

The Warriors coach planned on Wednesday to gauge the willingness of all his squad to upend their lives for months on Australian soil to complete the season, in whatever format it takes.

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A departure could come as soon as this Sunday, followed by two weeks in Australian quarantine, although the club is furious they’ve received no clarification around the logistics of the process, even including where they will stay.

If the Warriors ultimately accept the conditions they’re offered, Kearney said it’s “hard to say” if every player will commit.

About half of the first grade squad are young fathers, making it a stretch to spend 3-6 successive months offshore at what is already a stressful time.


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Kearney said having the ability to accommodate their families in Australia is the most pressing question for many of his players, echoing the concerns aired by Australian stars Cameron Smith and Darius Boyd about leaving behind loved ones for a long period.


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“For the players, it’s really important,” Kearney told AAP.

“There’s not a CEO in the world at the moment who will expect his employees to spend five months overseas, away from their families in the current climate.

Stephen Kearney won’t force his players to relocate away from their families.Source:Getty Images

“They’ve all been really good up until now but the reality of the situation is that I can’t give them any information about what they’re going into. We’re trying to keep their spirits up.” First-choice backs Peta Hiku and Patrick Herbert returned home for family reasons last month when the rest of the Warriors remained in Kingscliff, south of the Gold Coast, to see out round two of the competition.

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The Warriors players have been silent on their limbo status on social media although it is telling that many of their accounts during the lockdown period have been littered with photographs of their children.

Kearney and his assistant coaches planned to ring around every player on Wednesday to assess where they’re at mentally.

“I know we’re not the only ones who are inconvenienced in the competition but it’s a pretty significant one in terms of being three hours in a plane away from families,” Kearney said.

“And if something happens to a family member back here, you can’t get back and see them straight away. It’s something for everyone to think about.”

Originally published asWarriors can’t guarantee every player will commit to NRL relocation

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