'Two-thirds' of Warriors squad caught Covid during preseason

Source: 1News

The Warriors preseason has been seriously hindered as a Covid-19 outbreak affected most of the squad, with some members still not fully vaccinated for the virus.

Under the NRL's existing framework, players were informed last week they must stay away from indoor venues such as restaurants, pubs and cinemas

Nikorima fielded questions in an online press conference on Thursday afternoon from the team's base in Redcliffe, north of Brisbane, when the effects of the pandemic on the team came up.

The Kiwis star said most players in the NRL had accepted the virus would appear "one way or another", before revealing the Warriors were already dealing with it.

"We have protocols in place for us players and staff in which I feel like the NRL and the Warriors have done a pretty good job," Nikorima said.

"Obviously, it's pretty scary with Covid going around but I feel like everyone has sort of accepted it now.

"We've had half the group tested positive already within our group, so it's sort of been a delayed start to the second block of our season but everyone's all on deck now."

Nikorima said during training, a group who had been infected by Covid but since recovered would do less reps than the unaffected and finish earlier as they "build their way back" to full fitness.

He added the team were hoping to be back to full strength next week.

"In the mornings, you have to come in and do a RAT [rapid antigen test] and sit in your cars for 15 minutes and if it's negative, then you're allowed to leave your car but obviously you still have to wear [a mask] in and around the facilities," he said.

"We're doing everything we can to keep everyone safe."

Queensland recorded six Covid deaths and confirmed 14,914 new cases in the latest reporting period on Thursday.

Warriors coach Nathan Brown later confirmed the widespread infection in the squad, saying while he couldn't give an exact figure off the top of his head he believed "two-thirds" of the squad were infected.

"There's still a couple that are isolating at the moment," Brown said.

"There's been a large chunk."

Brown added some members of the team are yet to be fully vaccinated.

"Pretty much everyone in the squad that's here at the moment are either fully vaccinated or have one shot to go which is coming shortly.

"We haven't got any players to worry about that at the moment."

The Warriors' first game of the season is March 12 against the Dragons but their first trial game is in just over a month.