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All systems go for NRL return as Premier agrees to open border


Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has opened Queensland’s border for next month’s NRL restart, ensuring Brisbane, North Queensland and Gold Coast will avoid relocating to NSW.

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Palaszczuk on Friday not only gave the green light for the state’s three NRL clubs to train at their base and travel interstate but also host home games.

“The only condition was that it did not put our excellent work containing the spread of COVID-19 at risk and the Chief Health Officer advises that the NRL plan is workable,” Palaszczuk said.

Meanwhile, ARL Commission chairman Peter V’landys has declared the Warriors are committed to travelling to Australia to prepare for the resumption of the NRL season.

V’landys spoke with Warriors players on Friday morning, amid fears of a player revolt as they unified in a quest to address concerns about relocating.

The meeting cleared up several questions nagging the Warriors and the squad is preparing to cross the Tasman and set up a base in Tamworth.

However, as of Friday afternoon Australian Border Force authorities had yet to give the green light for the Warriors to arrive.

“And no amount of reporting it will change that decision,” said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“That will be made on the basis of the border assessments of the Australian Border Force and they’re working through that application.”

The NSW state government have also yet to grant exemption for the Warriors to train as a group while they spend two weeks in quarantine.

But league officials still remain confident those exemptions will be secured in time for the Warriors to be in the country by next week.

“The Warriors will be on the plane,” V’landys told AAP on Friday afternoon.

“I clarified all those matters. I’ll have it in writing to them once I get all the border security and state government approvals.

“The Warriors just wanted clarity on a few things and now they have got that they are fully supportive.”

Warriors players will receive the same pay as the rest of the NRL, with all players to receive 80 per cent of their original annual salary.

Talks with broadcasters remain ongoing to determine exactly how much money will flow into the game this season.

Families of Warriors players will remain in New Zealand for now, although the league is hopeful border restrictions will eventually ease.

Players across all clubs will return to their bases on Monday for a briefing on biosecurity laws, however they have yet to commit to a return to training.

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