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Raiders happy with charter flights as NRL to lessen players' exposure to coronavirus

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart says the NRL plans to use charter flights to transport teams to and from games is a "smart" move and believes it will also benefit his travel-weary team.

Canberra coach Ricky Stuart. Source: Photosport

The NRL is set to use charter planes to transport teams to and from matches on game day, meaning they can lessen their exposure to coronavirus by avoiding domestic airports and staying at hotels.

The Raiders' round-two game on Saturday afternoon against the Warriors has been shifted from Auckland, due to New Zealand travel restrictions, to Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast and they plan to travel up and back on the day.

"I think it's very smart of the NRL to have charter planes fly teams to and from games in the one day - it's helping to keep the players' health and welfare at hopefully a safe situation," Stuart said on Tuesday.

Last year the Raiders faced some serious travel challenges using commercial flights.

Before their round 15 match against Parramatta in Darwin, their 7.45am flight was initially delayed by fog and they were put on a 3.30pm flight to Melbourne.

After a three-hour lay over they finally arrived in the Northern Territory at midnight -17 hours after they set off - which then impacted their training run.

A similar thing happened last May when they flew to Brisbane for Magic Round - also via Melbourne after mechanical trouble disrupted their schedule.

Stuart said such adversity meant his side was well-prepared for any travel scenario.

"A chartered aeroplane is going to be a lot better than sitting in an airport for 10 or 12 hours," he said.

"If you're looking at travel adversity, we were very experienced at that last year.

"I was very happy with the way players handled difficult travel circumstances and disruptions last year because I think every away trip we had a disruption so it got to become the norm."