Warriors out to give departing players a winning send off

By Mana Wikaire-Lewis

The Warriors will be hoping to send four of their departing teammates off with a victory over the Sydney Roosters tonight.  However, with the Rooster 5th on the NRL ladder and the Warriors 15th, it will be a big ask.

The Warriors report that David Fusitu’a, Ken Maumalo, Agnatius Paasi and King Vuniyayawa are returning home to New Zealand on compassionate grounds after Australian border authorities turned down requests to allow their families to enter the country.

Maumalo and Fusitu'a are in the playing lineup for tonight's game, while Paasi and Vuniyayawa are injured and will watch from the sidelines.

The returning players have the support of their teammates.

“We've talked to them. On our end, we'd love them to stay but as a friend and with a family I want them to go home," teammate Peta Hiku told the Warriors media team.

“After round one I was in the same situation, I didn't know what was going to happen and I went home. The boys backed me up then.

“I think it's the right choice for them going home, they've been away from their families long enough. I couldn't imagine being away from my family for another 10 weeks.”

The Warriors clash with the 2019 NRL premiership-winning Roosters on the Central Coast at 5pm tonight.