NRL great Paul Gallen has praised the New Zealand Warriors for their willingness to help kickstart the 2020 premiership amid the ongoing global health crisis.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Warriors had been granted permission by the New Zealand Government to travel overseas, and the squad are expected to land in Australia on May 3rd. The Warriors squad would reportedly reside and train at a recreational facility called Lake Ainsworth on NSW’s far north coast.
If the Australian Government ticks off the New Zealand players’ exemption to the strict hotel quarantine restrictions, the NRL is on track to recommence on May 28th.
The New Zealand Warriors are currently 15th on the 2020 NRL ladder after suffering two losses before the competition shutdown.Source:AAP
Speaking on Channel 9’s Sunday Footy Show, Gallen commended the Warriors for their sacrifice, the players willing to spend several months away from friends and family to give the NRL a chance of getting underway next month.
“They’ve already come over here for two weeks a few weeks ago to keep the competition going. Now they’re talking about coming over here in probably two, three weeks’ time to stay for possibly three or four months,” Gallen said on Sunday.
“We don’t know how long they’re going to have to stay in isolation – as we know, this is continually changing every day, this pandemic – but they may be in isolation for up to three months away from their families.
“So for them to even be considering it, I just take my hat off to them. I just couldn’t imagine being away from my family for three months in isolation.”
Gal applauds the @NZWarriors for their sacrifice. ?
Sunday Footy Show | LIVE now on @Channel9#NRL pic.twitter.com/PMJwoNhN2P
Warriors CEO Cameron George is optimistic his team will be training on Australian soil as soon as they touch down next month.
“When we get to Australia, we can train with every other club from the fourth of May on. That’s our goal, notwithstanding a lot of water to go under the bridge,” George told Fox Sports News on Saturday.
“We’re very ambitious about being there and share the optimism with everyone else around that this game can get off the ground on the 28th of May.”
Warriors CEO Cameron George speaks to the media.Source:Getty Images
In another major boost for rugby league, NSW deputy premier John Barilaro has thrown his support behind the NRL’s proposal and is “confident” the premiership could get underway as scheduled on May 28th.
“From the insight that I got, I am so confident every day,” Varilaro told 2GB.
“The broadcasters are a big part of this, and they’re important, and with the green light from the broadcasters I’m getting a little bit more confident every day that Peter V’landys may just pull this off.”
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