Warriors get NRL OK to loan players

The NRL has reversed its decision to deny the injury-hit Warriors loaning players from other clubs.
The NRL has reversed its decision to deny the injury-hit Warriors loaning players from other clubs.

The Warriors will be able to sign players on loan after being given the all clear from the NRL.

With the club now based on the NSW Central Coast following a 17-day stay in Tamworth to avoid quarantine restrictions during the COVID-19 crisis, the Warriors are struggling with injuries after utility back Adam Keighran became the third player to join an already full casualty ward earlier this week.

The main worry is in their middle, where Leeson Ah Mau (pectoral), Jazz Tevaga, Bunty Afoa and Jackson Frei (all knees) have all suffered major injuries.

A request to loan players from other Australian clubs was denied last weekend but NRL head of football Graham Annesley confirmed on Saturday an exception had been granted.

Loan players are against normal NRL rules but the Warriors' exceptional circumstances forced the issue to be considered by the ARL Commission.

"It's initially for up to four weeks until the Commission considers approving the concept for all clubs," Annesley told AAP.

The news will be welcomed by the Warriors, who were facing the prospect of calling on development players for their round 3 match against St George Illawarra, or play players out of position.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George said earlier this week loaning players made sense given the club's situation.

"To simply say we've still got 28 (fit) players (isn't right), they can't all play front row," George said.

The Warriors' struggles prompted Cronulla legend Paul Gallen to say he would come out of retirement to ease the club's prop crisis if he received a call.

Several rival players have also lent their support to the Warriors.

"They have sacrificed a lot to try and get our job and game up and running," Canterbury prop Dylan Napa said.

"We can't thank them enough.

"When it comes to injuries and all that, I think we should definitely be trying to help them out for sure."

Australian Associated Press