Warriors re-commit to Gosford NRL stay

ARL Commission chair Peter V'landys and interim NRL CEO Andrew Abdo addressed the Warriors playing group on Saturday.

ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK.
ROGER TUIVASA-SHECK. Picture: Phil Walter/Getty Images

Warriors players have re-committed to staying in Australia for at least another two weeks, allaying fears some of their stars could return home to New Zealand.

ARL Commission chair Peter V'landys and interim chief executive Andrew Abdo spoke to the Warriors playing group on Saturday morning about their concerns.

The assurance comes as the team cops a further blow with skipper Roger Tuivasa-Sheck charged for a grade one shoulder charge, which is set to cost him a week.

The fullback was pinged for his hit on Felise Kaufusi in Friday's loss to Melbourne, and will miss a week whether he takes the early guilty plea or unsuccessfully challenges the charge at the judiciary.

It adds more pain for the squad, which is already under significant strain after eight weeks in Australia and set to remain for the near future.

"They are committed to staying on for at least the next couple of weeks while continuing to monitor the situation," Abdo told News Corp Australia following Saturday's meeting.

"They have and will continue to make great sacrifices for the rest of the competition."

The meeting came after Warriors caretaker coach Todd Payten conceded players leaving for Auckland was a possibility - and he wasn't going to stand in their way.

Wingers David Fusitu'a and Ken Maumalo, as well as prop Agnatius Paasi, were reportedly among a group of players looking to return home.

Playing their first game since the shock sacking of Stephen Kearney, the Warriors looked like a deflated outfit in Friday's 50-6 demolition to Melbourne.

Kearney's axing prompted speculation some players, who have spent almost two months away, were seriously contemplating leaving their current base in Gosford.

"There's a possibility that may happen. I'm not going to stand in their way. I don't think any of us will stand in their way," Payten said post-game.

"But we'll cross that when it happens."

Players with families based in Australia have already entered camp, adding to the frustrations of those who remain away from relatives.

It is understood the league is trying to work with federal authorities on granting exemptions for players' families to fly across the Tasman.

"The thing that's getting them at the moment is the uncertainty around the families and are they coming over," Payten said.

"Another hard thing is that Australian families, they're already here, so they can see that around them."

Payten said the team's current displacement, as well as Kearney's surprise departure, was no reason for their limp effort against the Storm.

The contest was effectively over at half-time when the Warriors were down 22-0.

"Everyone misses their family, that's still not a good enough reason to perform the way we're performing," Payten said.

"That should be the reason why we actually pull our finger out and fight our butt off; is to do our families justice, to all the people back home."

Payten questioned their commitment following the defeat, and threatened to make changes based on defensive desire.

"I did tell the lads downstairs that the team will be picked on effort and defensive capabilities moving forward," he said.

"If they're willing to put themselves in the picture on effort, and fight and scrap, then yeah... I don't care what they offer us from an attack point of view."

Melbourne captain Cameron Smith and coach Craig Bellamy both addressed the Warriors players after the game.


AAP