Storm Still Waiting On Training Exemption, As Warriors Cleared For Landing
Melbourne are still waiting on a Victorian government exemption to train at home from Monday or face relocating their NRL base over the border into NSW.
Storm boss Dave Donaghy says talks are continuing but they need to make a final call on Sunday as they look to start preparations for the May 28 NRL season re-start.
Their players, including Queensland stars Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi, have made the long drive back to Melbourne as the troops reassemble.
With a state of emergency in Victoria extended until May 11, it appears likely they will need to cross the border into Mulwala or Albury for at least the first week of training.
"It's still up in the air at this stage, unfortunately," Donaghy told 2GB radio on Saturday afternoon.
"We've been working with the Victorian and NSW governments and we will know tomorrow where we are going to be - we have to.
"But we've mapped out plans A, B, C and D within an inch of their life so whichever way it lands ... obviously our preference is to stay in Melbourne but we understand the Victorian government's position."
Monday is a designated biosecurity information briefing and testing day for players before training resumes Tuesday but Donaghy said wherever they were they would be ready.
"For us it's a mentality of anywhere, anytime and you've got to roll with the punches," he said.
"We're fortunate to get back to work and play footy so that's a pretty good situation so if it means that we're somewhere else for a period of time, then we will roll with it."
Meanwhile, the Warriors are pushing for a Central Coast home base after the NRL's only overseas club's anxious wait to return to Australia was rubber-stamped on Saturday.
While club CEO Cameron George conceded arriving at their new designated training base of Tamworth in north-west NSW training would be just the tonic, he nominated the Central Coast as a more preferable location for the remainder of the remodelled NRL season.
The New Zealand-based franchise was officially cleared for take-off on Saturday and scheduled to arrive in Tamworth on Sunday afternoon for mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
After Tamworth was granted a one-off exemption for an international flight landing, the Australian Border Force's approval was the latest green light as the NRL targets a May 28 competition resumption.
George hoped a plan would be in place for families to join teammates within a month and entertained the prospect of further relaxations between the two countries helping their cause.
While he said the chance to play again in Auckland this season would be nice, George admitted their focus was on a move from Tamworth to the Central Coast for the duration of their campaign.
"They're very excited and finally got some direction, some certainty which is crucial to these guys and their families," he said.
"We can't underestimate how challenging it's been.
"I think everyone's just climbing the walls, they'll love seeing a green oval that they can train together on with their mates.
"They're looking forward to going and it's really good for the team that they get this chance because at some stages it looked a bit shaky."
George said he wasn't sure of the NRL's venue arrangements, but was happy to state his preference when asked on Saturday.
"Whether they have two or three central grounds (where everyone plays) I'm not quite sure," he said.
"However if we're based on the Central Coast, obviously there's a stadium there (in Gosford) and we're close to Newcastle, and also close to Sydney.
"Ideal scenario could be Central Coast but that could differ from the NRL's view."