THE New Zealand Warriors are missing two key players on their flight to Tamworth on Sunday afternoon.
Hooker Nathaniel Roache has failed to board the Warriors' flight to their NRL quarantine base in Tamworth after failing a screening test.
Roache and winger David Fusitu'a weren't on board the chartered flight that left Auckland on Sunday as the team begins a stay of up to six months in Australia.
TVNZ reported that Fusitu'a had requested that he delay his departure for a week for personal reasons while Roache woke feeling unwell and could not be cleared to fly under the team's protocols.
The Tamworth charter flight was delayed leaving Auckland Airport but is expected to touch down in Tamworth after 5pm.
In a statement to media on Sunday afternoon, the club confirmed the pair remained behind.
"Vodafone Warriors centre David Fusitu'a and hooker Nathaniel Roache remained in Auckland when the team flew out for Australia this afternoon to prepare for the resumption of the 2020 NRL season," the club said.
"Fusitu'a has been granted permission to delay his departure on compassionate grounds while Roache was ordered to stay home after contacting medical staff this morning to say he was unwell."
Vodafone Warriors CEO Cameron George said Roache did everything right, and there was no risk to the other players.
"Nate called the club first thing this morning saying he wasn't feeling well," he said.
"He was instructed to have a test immediately and was told not to report at the airport as he would not be travelling with the team.
"We're totally satisfied Nate has had no contact with any other player or staff member at the club for several weeks and we're very comfortable we have abided by all policies and requirements."
- with Australian Associated Press