Former NRL star backs Warriors’ move to Lennox Head
FORMER Australian and NSW State of Origin star Jamie Lyon has backed the New Zealand Warriors to set up a training camp at Lennox Head ahead of the NRL season restart.
Lyon retired from the NRL at the end of 2016 and now lives at Skennars Head, having played local rugby league for Ballina last year.
The Warriors could arrive as early as Sunday where they hope to set up a 14-day quarantine camp at the Lake Ainsworth Sport and Recreation Centre.
The NRL is aiming for a May 28 restart after the season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic last month.
"There is a fair bit of space out there and you would rather that over high-rise apartments or a motel," Lyon said.
"You spend a lot of time together as NRL players and it's probably the best set-up they can get at the moment.
"They'll have all the appropriate testing and from what I understand it's just going to be a spot where they can bunker down for a few weeks.
"Nothing like this has ever happened before but I can't see it being a problem for a club to set up here.
"The way everything is at the moment I'm sure they'll run a tight ship."
The Warriors are planning to leave Auckland on Sunday and would arrive via a flight from Sydney so they can begin training the following day in line with the other 15 NRL clubs.
The squad will need to be placed in full isolation for two weeks under the Australian government's quarantine rules on international travellers.
They will be expected to go into isolation with no contact from outsiders and will have more than a week of normal activity before the competition resumes.
The Warriors are no strangers to the region ‒ chief executive Cameron George is the son of long-serving Lismore MP Thomas George.
The club spent time at Kingscliff when the season kicked off in March and were also part of a fundraiser initiative with Tenterfield after the bushfires in December.
"At this stage we're talking about Lennox Head but we're still in the hands of the state government as well the federal government about all those approvals," Cameron George said.
"We are yet to finalise that so there's things to find out over the next seven days on whether or not we come to Australia.
"Sure as hell, we're fighting to get there as best we can."