New Zealand PM aims to help 'stranded' Warriors players
WELLINGTON, JULY 30: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday said officials were "looking to resolve" the plight of two Warriors rugby league players who face being stranded in Australia due to COVID-19 border restrictions.
The Warriors this week revealed Eliesa Katoa and Selestino Ravutaumada had been told they could not return to New Zealand when the NRL season ends in Australia because they are not Kiwi citizens.
Warriors chief executive Cameron George said the situation was "devastating" for the two 20-year-olds, who have no family in Australia and have lived in New Zealand for years after winning schoolboy scholarships.
"They're kids, the poor buggers," he told stuff.co.nz, adding: "So what are we going to do? Drop them off and leave them on the shores of Australia?"
Many New Zealanders have expressed support for Katoa, from Tonga, and Fiji citizen Ravutaumada, who has represented his adopted homeland with the Junior Kiwis.
"This needs (to be) sorted! Let's do something about this Jacinda Ardern. Never leave our own behind," former Black Caps cricket captain Brendon McCullum