NRL prepares New Zealand Warriors for relocated season

The Warriors are set to find out next month whether they will need to relocate to the Central Coast once again for next year's NRL season.

On Thursday the NRL announced a full 25-round draw for the 2021 season with the Warriors scheduled to play 11 games at Mt Smart Stadium in Auckland.

However, there are contingencies in place should the border between New Zealand and Australia remain closed including playing blocks of games in Australia.

In announcing the draw, NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said he is confident the border would be open in time for the season but the timing could also affect the pre-season.

And should the trans-Tasman border not re-open in the coming weeks, a decision could be made to relocate the side to Australia for the NRL preseason.

"We've been in constant dialogue with the CEO and the chairman of the Warriors around planning for their pre-season, because it's not just about the first round, it's about the preseason," Adbo said.

"We're in quite advance discussions where if there's at some point in December, making a call as to whether the Warriors relocate to preseason in Australia.

"I would expect that call to be made in the next couple of weeks."

The Warriors played the entire 2020 NRL season playing out of Australia and have been tentatively rewarded with two home games to start next season.

Melbourne, who played just two NRL games at AAMI Park this year before relocating to the Sunshine Coast, are set to open the season at home against South Sydney on March 11.

The NRL has also announced the return of Magic Round at Suncorp Stadium in Round 10, a reduction in five-day turnarounds and a more even spread of free-to-air matches.