The Warriors have revealed a new home away from home for the 2022 NRL season, just north of Brisbane.
The announcement came today from CEO Cameron George, saying returning to Mount Smart Stadium next year was the preference but was unrealistic due to border volatility created by Covid-19.
It's the second home base for the New Zealand club, where they had based themselves for the 2020 and 2021 seasons in Terrigal on the New South Wales coast.
“Our dream hasn’t changed," says George. "We’d love to be back in Auckland playing at home in front of our families, members, fans and sponsors next year but we also have to ensure everyone here has some stability in their lives.
“With the pre-season starting in early November we don’t have much time to work with.
“We can’t get our players, staff and families back to New Zealand in the foreseeable future so we need to have a base here, not to mention considering all the needs of our players, families and staff like accommodation, schools and job opportunities for partners.”
Thanks to Dolphins
George said the club’s partnership with the Redcliffe Dolphins was the key to the move.
“We joined forces with the Dolphins two years ago and this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of (CEO) Tony Murphy and our friends at the club,” he said.
“The Dolphins have got great facilities for our training needs and a wonderful venue in the Moreton Daily Stadium for the home games we’ll play there. This gives us some certainty about our plans for 2022. We couldn’t be more grateful.
“At the same time, we are leaving the option open to play games back home.
“Our members and fans have waited so long. We had to cancel plans to play the Bulldogs in Auckland in August and that really hurt.
It may look like a smart move for the Warriors, as Redcliffe has provided a platform through its Intrust Super Cup for six players to make their NRL debuts this year. Rocco Berry and fullback rookie star Reece Walsh are just two of those six players.
Redcliffe has produced some of the biggest names to come out of Queensland including the legendary Arthur Beetson, Petero Civoniceva, Chris Close, John Ribot, former Vodafone Warrior Brent Tate and Daly Cherry-Evans.