TODAY |

Warriors boss admits NRL suspension will be 'devastating' to the franchise

Warriors boss Cameron George has no regrets at their ultimately fruitless decision to base the team in Australia, even though the suspension of the NRL had an inevitable feel.

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Cameron George says players, staff and fans are devastated by the news after the season was canned due to coronavirus.

The Kiwi club had booked its staff and players on a flight to Auckland on Tuesday, ending an unplanned 12-day stay at Kingscliff in northern NSW which they undertook to help keep the competition alive.

Newly-signed forwards Wayde Egan and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown had decided to stay in Australia to be with their families, along with assistant coach Justin Morgan.

Four players and two staff members who flew to Australia last Friday and began a two-week quarantine process would be able to join the team on the flight home, George confirmed.

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The club faces possible financial ruin now the NRL has been suspended. Source: 1 NEWS

All returnees will undergo self-isolation in New Zealand for 14 days.

That will complete a tumultuous period for the staff and players, some of whom were in tears when they first decided to stay on at a difficult time for their families.

However, George bore no grudge toward the NRL and had no misgivings at not instructing his team to come home.

"I don't have regrets. When I look back on how we handled it, it was important for me at all stages that I allowed the players to have ample time to discuss the options with their families," George said.

"Everyone was armed with the right information to make the right decision. They always had our support, whichever way they went.

"When they decided to stay all-in and continue in the competition, I felt that was extremely courageous. I felt it was really sensible from their part and I felt that at all times, the players were putting the club and the fans first, with support from their families."

George backed the NRL's attempt to keep the competition afloat, quashing a suggestion the governing body had dragged its heels in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NRL had maintained a consistent stance and kept his club up to speed in timely fashion, George said, including its Monday night call to suspend the competition.

George said the suspension's impact on the Warriors would be "devastating" but he couldn't detail the extent.

Some Warriors staff had been placed on leave but George said the club's owners had been nothing but positive since the pandemic tightened its grip, while memberships had been "unwavering".

He will approach the NZ government for financial support.

"In terms of the economy, we add a great deal of value and it's certainly something we will explore, like every other business would be around New Zealand."

George was bullish when asked if the future of the club was in doubt.

"We don't let negativity walk through that front door so questions and angles like that don't enter our minds," he said.