The Warriors could be back at Mt Smart Stadium soon, and the NRL plans to return to Auckland in 2021.
In the Covid-19 pandemic, Auckland never missed an NRL game this year and the Warriors had to play from Australia. However, the NRL today awarded 11 of the Warriors 2021 home games to Mt Smart in hopes the borders will reopen in time for the club to be based in Auckland next season.
The draw for the Warriors at the start of their 27th. Season with two home games in the first two rounds against the Gold Coast Titans (13. March) and the Newcastle Knights (19. March).
The planning of the competition will be influenced by the presence of a transtasman bubble. New Zealand and Australia will host their own super rugby competitions, but will also play in a Transtasman edition in May – indicating that the lines of hope will be open by then.
Australian Rugby League chairman Peter V’landys confirmed that the first draw was scheduled for 2021 as a transtasman bubble was to be deployed before the start of the season.
« The vaccine [Covid-19] is imminent or we hope it is and we have no infection in the community. Every decision we have made at the NRL has been based on scientific data and medical advice.
« [Our Biosafety Specialist] tells us we will play games in New Zealand in the first round. We must take this advice. There has been no infections for 30 days in New South Wales and 28 days in Victoria. If it stays that way, we have no problem.
« We have always said our priority is to play at home in front of our families, members and fans in 2021, » he said.
« While the Covid-19 situation has meant planning all possibilities, our ultimate wish is to be back at Mt Smart. We couldn’t think of anything better after playing away all season.
« We have no control over decisions related to Transtasman’s border policy, but to this day we are delighted that the NRL has officially assigned all of our home games to Mt Smart. «
New Zealand Warriors, National Rugby League, Mt. Smart Stadium, 2021
EbeneMagazine – AU – Rugby League: NRL plans New Zealand Warriors Herald to return to Mt Smart Stadium in 2021 – New Zealand