How the New Zealand Warriors picked up and moved across the Tasman in a pandemic

LOGISTICS: A plane with about 40 NRL NZ Warriors staff and players arrived in Tamworth on Sunday. Photo: Gareth Gardner
LOGISTICS: A plane with about 40 NRL NZ Warriors staff and players arrived in Tamworth on Sunday. Photo: Gareth Gardner

HAULING an NRL team across the Tasman in this middle of a global pandemic is no easy feat.

There's a checklist for everything; flights, accommodation, meal plans and apparently even deodorant.

It's all handled by New Zealand Warriors operations manager Daniel Floyd, who might just be one of the most organised people in the trans-Tasman.

"You have to have good people around you and be organised, I'm constantly checking things off lists again and again," he said.

"We haven't had too many requests, the only strange one was someone asking the people at reception for deodorant which just blew me away - pack it] if you know you are going on a five-month trip.

"But there haven't been too many requests for creature comforts, except Blake Green complains about dessert, he's got a sweet tooth."

After an international flight to Tamworth Airport with about 40 people and more than 100 bags, the NZ Warriors have turned Tamworth's Scully Park into their training headquarters.

A masseuse from New Zealand was flown in with the team, there are chefs onsite to prepare the meals to the team's strict dietary requirements, and the head of morale has an old-fashioned social-distance bingo night planned for Sunday.

There's a live-in doctor and two physiotherapists at the Mercure Hotel to keep the players in tip-top condition.

When the guys need a break there's table tennis, a gaming room, recovery rooms and Scully Pool outside for a dip.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George has even challenged the boys to a line-dancing competition.

Player Nathaniel Roach flew to Australia on Thursday and will go into isolation on his own and it's expected David Fusitu'a will join them next week.

When the team leaves Tamworth they will head to the Central Coast and if allowed, play home games at Gosford.

"I would recommend the Tamworth facility to anyone, it's looked after so well, it was teed up overnight and we couldn't be happier," Mr Floyd said.

"I know Cameron [George] would love us to come back at some stage and we would love to see the Golden Guitar," he said. "I know [coach] Justin Morgan loves his country music."

This story What it takes to haul an NRL team across the Tasman in a pandemic first appeared on The Northern Daily Leader.