Speculation has been passing through Moranbah that the New Zealand Warriors would be relocated to the town amid COVID-19. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Speculation has been passing through Moranbah that the New Zealand Warriors would be relocated to the town amid COVID-19. Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

NRL club weighs in on Warriors’ move to Moranbah claims

EXCITEMENT spread through the Central Queensland town of Moranbah after suggestions a prominent NRL team would relocate to the rural location amid COVID-19.

A story by the The Betoota Advocate, well-known for its satire, which referenced the New Zealand Warriors, claimed the team would be “relocated to a prominent coal mining town in Central Queensland”.

“The great travelling showmen of the NRL, the New Zealand Warriors, are today making preparations to pack up and relocate again – as the growing number of community transmissions in NSW edges towards concerning,” it read.

Quoting Australian Rugby League Commission chairman Peter V’landys the story stated the town had “plenty of accommodation ready to go”, with “a demountable donger” for each player with “a bunch of playstations in the mess hall”.

“You boys will love Moranbah,” it quoted V’landys.

Despite the Central Queensland community’s wishes, a Warriors spokesman today told CQ News the squad was still based at Terrigal on the Central Coast and had not received any directives to move to the region.

“Any directive relating to the relocation of our squad would come from the NRL and to date we’ve received no such instruction,” he said.

Warriors players have been stuck in Australia since the start of May, due to travel restrictions imposed by COVID-19, and have been based on the Central Coast.

On Tuesday, July 14, a statement by the NRL revealed all clubs operating outside of Queensland must revert to original Apollo biosecurity protocols

Mr V’landys said the Commission had taken decisive action due to the rapidly changing COVID-19 landscape.

“We won’t take any risks with our players and the community,” he said.

“All our decisions are based on the data and we’ve said from the start, if the data changes then we will be proactive and take the necessary action required.”

Players and staff within team bubbles will not be allowed to attend venues including cafes, restaurants, pubs, beaches and golf courses to avoid community contact during the current spike in COVID-19 cases. Restrictions on home visitors will also return.