Warriors land in Australia after travel exemption

TAMWORTH, AUSTRALIA (AFP) – The New Zealand Warriors arrived in Australia yesterday after the National Rugby League (NRL) secured an exemption for the team to enter the country ahead of a planned resumption of the sport.

A charter plane carrying the Warriors landed in the rural town of Tamworth, about five hours drive from Sydney, at about 5:30pm.

The NRL’s only international side will spend 14 days in quarantine in the town, Australia’s country music hub, before competition restarts on May 28.

On Saturday, Australian officials granted 36 players and staff a rare exemption from the country’s ban on international arrivals, amid a slowdown in new coronavirus cases in Australia and New Zealand.

The Warriors were short two players after centre David Fusitu’a and hooker Nathaniel Roache stayed behind in Auckland.

The club said Fusitu’a had been given permission to delay his departure on compassionate grounds and Roache had been told to do the same after reporting he was unwell.