The New Zealand Warriors are seething over $1million worth of injured talent on the sidelines - and the NRL denying their player loan requests.
The Warriors hope more talks between the Auckland-based side and the NRL will provide the club with exemptions towards their salary cap with the option of loaning players to cover their extensive injured list.
New Zealand international forward Leeson Ah Mau is expected to recover from his pectoral issue in September, whilst Jazz Tevaga is likely to miss out on the entire season after hurting his knee during training.
Props Jackson Frei and Bunty Afoa will miss the 2020 campaign with respective knee injuries, whilst both Taane Milne and Nathaniel Roache are sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The NRL has stated that the club still has 28 players on the active roster to choose from but with $1million in talent unavailable, both Agnatius Paasi and rookie Jamayne Taunoa-Brown being the only props fit to play, Warriors CEO Cameron George will continue to plead his case for loan exemptions.
“We’ve been declined already from the NRL for loan players, but we’re going to have a second discussion with them," George said.
“We’ve got significant injuries in key parts of our squad.
“We’ve got 28 players, but they can’t play front row so we need to go back to the drawing table on who we have available, once we get that position clarified, we can start to look at what options are available.
“Particularly when you’ve got four middles out, we need to have that considered on its merits.”
George still remains optimistic that the NRL will change their decision, though their pleads were rejected once before COVID-19 halted the season and now much more recently.
He added: “The depth of our squad has been depleted in the last couple of days, and we want to see good games of footy.
"We’ve got to make sure clubs are up to the best levels we can without failing in our duty of care and not pushing kids up to make their NRL debuts one or two seasons before they should.
“Hopefully common sense will prevail.”