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Curran frustrated by NRL homecoming delay

Entering his third full NRL season as a Warrior, Josh Curran has only once played on New Zealand soil.

The 22-year-old doesn’t know when he’ll add to that tally after the club announced last week it was forced to cancel its homecoming match in June due to New Zealand’s isolation policy.

Having not played at Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium since August 2019, the Warriors have set up camp this season in Redcliffe, northeast of Brisbane.

“Everyone wants to go over there – this is why we got double-vaxxed,” Sydney-born Curran said.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George said on Friday it wouldn’t be fair to ask NRL teams to disrupt their training schedules and isolate leading into a match across the Tasman.

George has called for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to create travel “corridors” so sporting teams and essential businesspeople can go in and out more freely.

While it’s hoped the Warriors can still stage four matches in Auckland from July, Curran is dismayed at the constant setbacks.

“We got the vaccine so we can go over there in front of our fans,” Curran said after playing for the Indigenous All Stars.

“Us Warriors just want to go home and give the fans some games because we haven’t been there for two-and-a-half years.

“It’s getting a bit frustrating because we have all these dates set to go back and then she (Ardern) closes it again.

“We really appreciate all the fans that we have over here, but (for) all the fans that we have back at home it’s really disappointing.”

Curran copped a head knock during the Indigenous side’s 16-10 loss to the Maori All Stars but insisted he was fine with only general soreness after an intense contest.

The lock produced nine runs for 80 metres as well as 18 tackles in 47 minutes.

“It got the lungs blowing, but it was a pretty fast game and it was pretty physical,” he said.

The forward was pleased to see fellow Warriors Chanel Harris-Tavita, Kodi Nikorima and Jazz Tevaga enjoy strong performances for the Maori ahead of a Warriors trial against Melbourne on Saturday.

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