Warriors given dispensation to acquire loan stars
The New Zealand Warriors have been given a major boost with the NRL giving the side dispensation to acquire loan players from rival clubs amid a spate of injuries.
The Warriors' front row has been ravaged by injuries ahead of the May 28 restart, with Jazz Tevaga, Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei all suffering major injuries.
NRL Head of Football Graham Annesley confirmed the league's decision on The Continuous Call Team on Saturday afternoon.
"They've been given that (dispensation) only a few hours ago," he said.
"All clubs were notified that the Warriors will be given that dispensation.
"The salary cap auditor has used discretion to give that approval subject to the (ARL) Commission ultimately signing off on that, that's been done.
"Everyone appreciates the extreme lengths the Warriors have gone to, to try and bring this competition back to life.
"Once the Commission signs off on the rule, the same rule will apply to all clubs subject to meeting the guidelines of course."
Of the players currently sidelined, Tevaga is the only one who remains a chance of returning for the remainder of the 2020 season.
Prior to the NRL's decision, the Warriors had received support from rival clubs after the sacrifices made by the New Zealand-based club to remain in Australia for an indefinite period.
Dragons coach Paul McGregor had "heard some whispers" about one of his players speaking to the Warriors.
McGregor said any loan would need to be in the best interests of the club and the player concerned.
"It can't be a negative on the team, club or player himself. He's got to want to do it," McGregor said.
"And then things like who looks after the player if he gets injured, the payment of the player ... there are a lot of things that haven't been talked about.
"But if it all aligns well and is the best benefit to everyone, I've got no problem with it."
North Queensland counterpart Paul Green agreed, saying there was a willingness to help the Warriors, within reason.
"They have made a few sacrifices as a club and if they need help we have to look at how we can help them across the board," Green said.
"There is also the risk of injury, we are on reduced squads, everyone has only got 32 players, there's also that to consider."
The Warriors will resume their season on May 30 against McGregor's Dragons at Central Coast Stadium.