Warriors’ NRLW team is set for a shake up with around half a dozen players committed to relocating to Sydney for at least six weeks to keep the club colours alive in 2020.
It’s understood a handful of players have agreed to relocate to Sydney and undergo a 14-day quarantine before joining a team made mostly of Australian-based players.
Protocols drafted by the NRL’s Apollo Committee are yet to be signed off by chief executive Andrew Abdo and the ARL Commission, with hopes they will be approved by next week.
The update comes a fortnight after Warriors chief executive Cameron George said the club may compete in the NRLW in name only in 2020.
It would allow the Warriors to have some of their own players represent the club in the four-team competition, which includes Sydney Roosters, Brisbane and St George Illawarra.
The move is an enormous sacrifice for the New Zealand-based players, who will be without family and friends, and have to forgo work commitments to represent the Warriors in this year’s competition.
It’s understood their contracts will include a flat rate as well as a daily allowance for relocated players.
Organisers are aiming for an August 17 return to training, with the competition set to start in the first week of October and run concurrently with the NRL finals.
Once the commission has approved the guidelines, contracts can be issued and the Warriors will be free to recruit Australian-based players to fill the squad.
While players arriving from New Zealand will be based in a hotel, any Australian-based recruits will be free to live at home, although under Apollo guidelines.
As the competition nears, travel guidelines and government exemptions for players to travel to and from Queensland will also be considered.
Following Wednesday’s announcement that the border between NSW and Queensland would close, the situation became more difficult.
It’s likely flights will be chartered for the NRLW players and staff and relocating the Brisbane players to NSW could also be considered once the competition starts.