Warriors gifted home boost in NRL draw

The Warriors will play 14 of their 24 NRL regular season games on home soil in 2016 after two Sydney clubs chose to play fixtures in New Zealand.

The release of the season draw revealed the Canterbury will “host” the Warriors in Wellington on April 16 before the Penrith Panthers do the same in Christchurch on May 14.

The Auckland-based Warriors last played in Christchurch in 2010.

It will gift the Warriors a run of six home-based games out of seven during a mid-season period, including their inaugural NRL visit to New Plymouth on May 21.

Their opponents for that game – their only home fixture away from Auckland’s Mt Smart Stadium – have been confirmed as Canberra.

The Warriors open their campaign with two games in Australia, against the Wests Tigers on March 5 and the Brisbane Broncos six days later.

The Anzac Day match against the Melbourne Storm has been restored, to be played in Melbourne.

Coach Andrew McFadden says the additional games in New Zealand can only be a positive.

“Certainly it will help with our preparation and our routines knowing we won’t travel as much as we usually do,” he said.

“It’s a boost as well for the team being able to play more games in front of our own supporters.”

McFadden also welcomed the finish to the regular season which has given the Warriors home games against the Tigers and Eels.

Their longest trip will be to Perth, on July 16 when they play a game taken there by the Manly Sea Eagles.

* All Offers and Promotions posted in this article excludes NSW residents.
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