TODAY |

Kiwis hooker finally allowed to return to Australia after Auckland stranding

Kiwis and Melbourne Storm hooker Brandon Smith has today finally been given clearance to leave New Zealand, returning to Australia early this morning.

After flying back to New Zealand when the NRL was suspended last month, Smith's attempts to return to his home in Melbourne have seen him endure a trying period stuck in Auckland.

To make matters worse, Smith wasn't allowed to travel to his family home to be with his extended family on Waiheke Island.

On Monday, Smith was turned away trying to travel back to Australia.

Today was a different story, though, with Smith given clearance to leave New Zealand and is now set for isolation in a Melbourne hotel ahead of the proposed NRL season restart on May 28.

"We've got no idea what's gonna happen in the next week or so," Smith told 1 NEWS.

"Training was supposed to start on the first of May, but I think that's been pushed back for some reason with the Warriors."

The Warriors' plight is proving to be a major hurdle for the NRL's resumption, with the Melbourne Storm among those to agree they'll wait to resume training, allowing for a level playing field for the Kiwi side.

Smith is joining the plaudits coming the Warriors' way, with the Kiwi side to make incredible personal sacrifice to allow the NRL a chance to begin again in full.

"The strain it would put on their families is definitely something I wouldn't want put on me," Smith added.

"I take my hat off to them and what they're doing for us."