General Warriors preparing plan B for 2021

Wellington Warrior

Warriors 1st Grader
May 15, 2012
5,321
Wellington, New Zealand
Warriors start making significant plans to spend 2021 in Redcliffe, Queensland

Warriors wing Ken Maumalo was one of five players who returned to New Zealand to be with his family.

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Warriors wing Ken Maumalo was one of five players who returned to New Zealand to be with his family.

The NRL and Warriors last week started work on contingency plans for the club having to spend another year in Australia.

With so much uncertainty about when a trans-Tasman bubble will go up, the club and the NRL began talks on what lies ahead for the Warriors in 2021.

If the Warriors can’t be in New Zealand, they are looking to base themselves in Redcliffe, 30km north of central Brisbane and the club already has a relationship with the Redcliffe Dolphins, who play in the Queensland Cup.

The obvious preference is for the Warriors to be back in New Zealand next year, but rather than wait until closer to the start of the 2021 season, the club wants to make plans now, partly so they’re well prepared and also to capitalise on any revenue opportunities.

There are three major considerations that need sorting out for next season.

One is government regulations, which would include the players and their families being able to travel together to Australia, those without New Zealand citizenship would be able to return to Auckland afterwards.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ended up as the only Kiwi player with the Warriors who wasn't with his family this season.

Tony Feder/Getty Images

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ended up as the only Kiwi player with the Warriors who wasn't with his family this season.

The latter initially stopped Tongan Eliesa Katoa and the Fijian born Selestino Ravutaumada from retuning to New Zealand at the end of the season.

Stuff understands Ravutaumada has now been granted exemption to return to New Zealand, but Katoa is still in limbo.

There are also the financial aspects of the team being based in Australia for another year.

Firstly there is the huge cost of having at team living in Australia, which the NRL picked up the multi million dollar tab for this year. Then there’s the loss of income the Warriors have to live with.

But the reality is if the club wants to stay in the NRL and there’s no border arrangements, they’ll have to relocate again to Australia, if not, they risk losing their licence.

The Warriors have received huge public support from both sides of the Tasman and captured the hearts and minds of people, because of the efforts and sacrifices made.

The Warriors rushed to get everything organised for their move to Tamworth this year. Next time, they want to be better prepared.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The Warriors rushed to get everything organised for their move to Tamworth this year. Next time, they want to be better prepared.

But that doesn’t transfer into money into the club’s coffers.

This year the Warriors couldn’t sell tickets to games, memberships or corporate packages.

The Warriors usually sell more jerseys than any other NRL club, but without home games merchandise sales have dried up.

A few months ago, when it looked like Australia and New Zealand had both eradicated the coronavirus, the Warriors were making plans to host games late in the season at Mt Smart Stadium.

It would have given the club a financial boost similar to the one the New Zealand Super Rugby clubs received, but once cases emerged again in Australia all hopes for that were dashed.

So the club has wisely, but reluctantly started working on a Plan B for 2021.

The photo of Adam Blair with his son Taika as he left New Zealand in May highlighted the sacrifices the Warriors' players and their families have made.

JESS BLAIR/INSTAGRAM/Stuff

The photo of Adam Blair with his son Taika as he left New Zealand in May highlighted the sacrifices the Warriors' players and their families have made.

This would include the team having two preseason camps next year. One in Redcliffe for the Australian players and one in Auckland for the Kiwis.

Closer to the start of the season, the team would come together at their new base at Dolphin Stadium, which has a capacity for 10,000 spectators and it would be even more of a home away from home than the Central Coast has been this season.

There’s no suggestion of renaming the club Redcliffe Warriors and it’s vital the team retains its identity and New Zealand fanbase.

There would be some staff that would remain in New Zealand, like those that work in the finance community and digital parts of the club, but others like CEO Cameron George and those who work on game day activities would need to relocate to Australia.

The NRL is keen to see how it would all work as it’s considering having a second Brisbane team.

This would allow the NRL to have a trial run, to see how the city responds to hosting two clubs and the draw would be scheduled so that the Warriors play home games when the Broncos are away, so there’s a game in the city every weekend.

If the border was to open up halfway through the season, the Warriors would move back to Auckland to play games at Mt Smart Stadium as soon as possible.

But for now the Warriors are being prudent in preparing for another year away from home.
 

Off The Bench

Warriors 1st Grader
Jan 26, 2014
3,050
I like the idea of Aussie players doing preseason in Aus .
Obviously it's not ideal .But it's got to be a help if we are trying to recruit
An Aussie or two .
I don't know how it will work with team cohesion an standards
But if the club looks at it from a long-term point of view an continues
To work on systems an use technologies available .
It could be a game changer for us ..
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,158
I think two preseason camps is idiotic, even the taking the risk of having players and staff relocate back to NZ is more than i think they should do.

They should be planning on everyone and their families coming to Aus so that they are all there, relaxed and settled in for the new year. This means no one goes home because with the current crisis, there are no guarantees that they will be allowed back .
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,158
I imagine it will be so much easier on the team with a year to prepare and all the learnings they would have taken from this first time around.
only if they start planning as though this is plan a not plan b. Plan b should be the backup, ie everything will go great and the warriors will be based in NZ. Plan a should be shit aint changing and the warriors should expect to stay in Aus for the duration.
 

Sky Waka

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 28, 2017
233
Can't let this happen. I know it's not solely up to the NRL but if the Warriors are still based in oz next year it would be a disaster. For the good of the game, specifically Rugby League in NZ they have to be based at home.
 

mrblonde

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 14, 2012
3,569
Auckland
Another aspect of the Warriors remaining in Australia for 2021 is what does it do to the stadium situation in Auckland? If Mt Smart can't field any other team/s to make up for the Warriors absence, does that make the stadium too much of a financial drain and next thing, the Warriors are proud to announce their New Home Ground - Eden Park!

I'm sure the NRL can find some more twennies under various doonas to help the Warriors a little bit more. For starters, assuming things are still like this in October, the Grand Final week won't have to be anywhere near as extravagent - breakfasts, announcements, etc etc which must cost a fair bit. And the day itself won't need the live entertainment in the same way.
 
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eudebrito

|-|
Contributor
May 21, 2013
3,668
I think two preseason camps is idiotic, even the taking the risk of having players and staff relocate back to NZ is more than i think they should do.

They should be planning on everyone and their families coming to Aus so that they are all there, relaxed and settled in for the new year. This means no one goes home because with the current crisis, there are no guarantees that they will be allowed back .

they arent making the finals, NRL wont be so happy pick up the tab for the team and their families to sit around the pool for 3 solid months until preseason begins. the australian government gives the NRL travel exemptions whenever they ask, theyll be coming back
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,158
they arent making the finals, NRL wont be so happy pick up the tab for the team and their families to sit around the pool for 3 solid months until preseason begins. the australian government gives the NRL travel exemptions whenever they ask, theyll be coming back
so far they have. doesnt mean that they will continue to do so.
Also look at Katoa still cant get back into NZ. Just goes to prove nothing is ever simple and makes me wonder how many Aussie players with no NZ ties will be allowed into NZ
 
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jonesy101

1st Grade Fringe
Aug 28, 2016
827
Another aspect of the Warriors remaining in Australia for 2021 is what does it do to the stadium situation in Auckland? If Mt Smart can't field any other team/s to make up for the Warriors absence, does that make the stadium too much of a financial drain and next thing, the Warriors are proud to announce their New Home Ground - Eden Park!

I'm sure the NRL can find some more twennies under various doonas to help the Warriors a little bit more. For starters, assuming things are still like this in October, the Grand Final week won't have to be anywhere near as extravagent - breakfasts, announcements, etc etc which must cost a fair bit. And the day itself won't need the live entertainment in the same way.
Will be interesting to see what happens during Grand Final week. I see the NRL are trying to get permission for 50,000 to attend ANZ but that seems very unlikely given its only 2 months away. Will just have to be a local Sydney band headlining the entertainment. Saw one of the Wiggles was on the Matty Johns show the other night so they would do.
 

mrblonde

Warriors 1st Grader
Apr 14, 2012
3,569
Auckland
Absolutely logical by the Warriors and frankly a brave call this early as it's no doubt going to cost even more money than Covid-19 already has and - unjustifiably as it's not within the Warriors control - piss a lot of people off. Just hope they can recoup as much money from ticket sales/merchandise sales etc in Australia as possible.

Be interesting to see any data about the number of season tickets refunded in 2020 versus the number in 2021.

BTW, I thought NSWC had been killed off and replaced by the idea of sending a few players to the Dolphins every week and playing the rest in the Fox? Even it had been, guess the Fox idea's off the table now?
 

Diesel

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 7, 2014
1,728
Brisbane
If the Warriors are going to be based at Redcliffe and use Redcliffe players:facilities, that may work for the NRL team, but not the NSWCup team, unless the Warriors are switching to the Q Cup and playing as the Dolphins
 
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Diesel

1st Grade Fringe
Nov 7, 2014
1,728
Brisbane
Qld still has restrictions against greater Sydney ATM. In a few hours they’re opening up again to NDW, but that could all change if there’s another NSW outbreak. The ALP just got re-elected in QLD this weekend and have been keeping borders closed
 

matiunz

All Out!
Contributor
Jul 15, 2013
7,226
Sydney
Qld still has restrictions against greater Sydney ATM. In a few hours they’re opening up again to NDW, but that could all change if there’s another NSW outbreak. The ALP just got re-elected in QLD this weekend and have been keeping borders closed
Things will get interesting soon as NSW and VIC prepare to allow borders to open pretty soon, it’s only really WA and QLD holding out now.
 

gREVUS

Long live the Rainbows and Butterflies
Contributor
May 8, 2012
8,158
Things will get interesting soon as NSW and VIC prepare to allow borders to open pretty soon, it’s only really WA and QLD holding out now.
not quite, SA are talking of letting us in but then we still have to do 14 days in iso before we are allowed out into the general public.
so still most of the country hates us. but i think NSW has more cases atm.
 

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