Warriors confirmed for five NRL games in New Zealand in 2022 – Stuff.co.nz

Posted: November 9, 2021 at 1:53 pm

The Warriors will play their first game in New Zealand next year against the Panthers on June 18.

The NRL released the draw for next season on Tuesday and the Warriors have been confirmed for five games at Mt Smart Stadium, all over the back end of the season.

The Warriors other games in Auckland are against Wests Tigers on July 3, the Storm on July 29, the Bulldogs on August 12 and they will be home for the final round of the season, hosting the Titans on September 3.

Their campaign begins with a home game against the Dragons at Sunshine Coast Stadium on March 12. They will play five other home games at Moreton Daily Stadium in Redcliffe, while on May 14 will play against the Rabbitohs at Suncorp Stadium for Magic Round.

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The Warriors last NRL game in New Zealand was the 31-10 loss to the Rabbitohs on August 30, 2019. However, they did play a trial against the Storm in Palmerston North in February 2020, just a few weeks before Australia and New Zealand went into lockdown.

The Warriors will base themselves in Redcliffe, northern Brisbane, next season and plan to make hit and run trips to New Zealand for games.

Marc Shannon/Phototek

The Warriors will at last be able to call Mt Smart Stadium home next year.

Under the current border restrictions, NRL games wouldnt be possible in New Zealand, but the NRL have done the draw in the hope that by June, those restrictions will have eased and travel across the Tasman will be back to normal, especially for those vaccinated.

Warriors CEO Cameron George said hes looking forward to the team playing in New Zealand again next year.

It was always our plan and hopefully we can get back and play, George said.

Its exciting for the fans and just as important, the players, to go back to our home and play.

So fingers crossed everything works out and we can make it happen.

The Warriors had been planning to play against the Bulldogs at Mt Smart Stadium this year, but that all went out of the window when Australian states and New Zealand went into a second wave of lockdowns.

Now that next years draw is out, George said theyll start putting plans in place for their members, fans and sponsors.

Weve got meetings starting today regarding what those plans will look like, George said.

Until we got the draw, we didnt really know the exact dates or rounds that we could go back to Mt Smart. But now weve got that, well make some announcements over the next week for our members and what this means, but its very exciting for everyone.

The Panthers game is sure to be a sell out, with the league fans desperate to see the team play again on home soil for the first time in 1023 days.

But George wants the Warriors to be flying high on the ladder when they come to New Zealand to host the reigning Premiers.

We need to start the season well, but it will be good to play first [in Auckland] against a team in New Zealand thats coached by Ivan Cleary and Andrew Webster, two former Warriors staff, he said.

We want to be up the top of the ladder at the start of the season, but this is going to be a big game and we want to go to Auckland with a good number of successful games under our belts.

I want to make sure we go home and put a big show on for our fans, but first and foremost weve got to train hard over the preseason and start the season well.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Government has announced unvaccinated people wont be able to enter sporting venues once 80 per cent of the state is double jabbed.

That milestone is expected to be reached on December 17, which will mean unvaccinated athletes wont be able to enter any stadium where NRL is played.

NRL CEO Andrew Abdo says 95 per cent of players are vaccinated and at some clubs everyone is jabbed.

Any Warriors player that isnt vaccinated wouldnt be able to play games in Queensland or against the Storm in Melbourne and it would seem unlikely theyd also be allowed to travel across the Tasman for games in New Zealand.

AT A GLANCE

WARRIORS 2022 NRL DRAW

(Local kick-off times listed)

1 Sat March 12 4.30pm v Dragons, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokina

2 Sat March 19 2.00pm v Titans, Cbus Super Stadium, Robina

3 Fri March 25 6.00pm v Wests Tigers, Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown

4 Sat April 2 2.00pm v Broncos, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

5 Fri April 8 6.00pm v Cowboys, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

6 Sun April 17 2.00pm v Roosters, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

7 Mon April 25 7.00pm v Storm, AAMI Park, Melbourne

8 Sat April 30 3.00pm v Raiders, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

9 Sun May 8 4.05pm v Sharks, PointsBet Stadium, Cronulla

10 Sat May 14 3.00pm v Rabbitohs, Suncorp Stadium (Magic Round)

11 Sat May 21 3.00pm v Dragons, Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah

12 Sat May 28 3.00pm v Knights, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

13 Sat Jun 4 7.35pm v Sea Eagles, 4 Pines Park, Manly

14 Sun June 12 6.15pm v Sharks, Moreton Daily Stadium, Redcliffe

15 Sat June 18 7.30pm v Panthers, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

16 Sun July 3 4.00pm v Wests Tigers, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

17 Bye

18 Fri July 15 7.55pm v Eels, Commonwealth Bank Stadium, Parramatta

19 Sat July 23 3.00pm v Raiders, GIO Stadium, Canberra

20 Fri July 29 8.00pm v Storm, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

21 Sat August 6 3.00pm v Rabbitohs, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Bokina

22 Fri August 12 8.00pm v Bulldogs, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

23 Fri August 19 6.00pm v Cowboys, QCB Stadium, Townsville

24 Fri August 26 6.00pm v Panthers, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith

25 Sat Sept 3 5.00pm v Titans, Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland

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Warriors confirmed for five NRL games in New Zealand in 2022 - Stuff.co.nz

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