Revealed: Warriors boss confirms plan to come to Lennox
WHILE the New Zealand Warriors want to base themselves at Lake Ainsworth in Lennox Head in any imminent NRL reboot, club CEO Cameron George said they would abide by the Australian Government's call.
The facility is seen as a way of helping the Warriors navigate the strict lockdown laws in place for offshore arrivals in place by the Australian Government.
Lake Ainsworth would allow for the Warriors to train for the resumption of the NRL season while adhering to the COVID-19 measures and keep away from the local community during their quarantine.
Mr George said their application was in front of the Australian Government and nothing had been confirmed.
"Our application sits before the government now but I completely respect we're being measured as any other application that wants to come into Australia and while we're very hopeful we can get an exemption … we'll completely understand whatever decision the government makes," Mr George said.
"Hopefully we get the right approvals to go to Australia and go to Lennox Head to work through whatever isolation for whatever period of time we're there for."
With a combination of fitness facilities and accommodation facilities, Lake Ainsworth has the tick of approval from the Warriors.
"We had some guys spend a couple of weeks there recently while we were in isolation on the Gold Coast … they were glowing with reports around the training facility and what it offered us,"
"There's two parts to it, one is you've got to have adequate training facilities and two, you've got to ensure, as it's going to be mental challenging for our group to go through this process and be away from their families, that the balance is right," Mr George said.
Mr George is no stranger to the Northern Rivers, as he is the son former long-serving Lismore MP Thomas George and has fond memories of growing up in Casino.
"The area is special to me because I had the help of so many people in Casino growing up, Leo Clapham from a racing aspect taught me all the racing side of things and Jim Doherty is another person who taught me so much about racing and life," Mr George said.
"They're two very special people who have been so instrumental to what I've done and family and friends who still live around the area who make it so special to go home,"
That country upbringing is central to how Mr George operates in his role with the New Zealand Warriors today.
"A lot of the manner in which I manage is people first which is something you learn growing up in a country town, you've got to respect people and work with people to get really good outcomes," Mr George said.
"There's no better place in the world than that area, in my mind."