Canberra Raiders star John Bateman's uncertain future is set to take another twist after player manager Isaac Moses had his NRL accreditation wiped out on Tuesday.
The NRL has deemed Moses breached his obligations as an accredited agent in 2017 by assisting Tim Mannah to give false evidence to the NRL with the intention of misleading an integrity unit investigation.
Moses has the right to an appeal and is free to continue working until it has taken place in a welcome sign for Bateman as he looks to shore up his future.
Bateman is contracted to Canberra until the end of 2021 but he was speaking with other teams about his long-term future, saying salary cap pressure at the premiership-contending Raiders meant he had to assess his options.
There have been rumblings about Bateman's future since grand final week last season, with Moses reportedly chasing a bigger contract for the 26-year-old.
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"Player agents have a very influential role in the game and with the players they represent. Where agents fail to adhere to the standards expected of them, we will intervene to take action under the NRL rules," NRL interim chief executive Andrew Abdo said.
"That is what we have done in this case after a thorough investigation by the league's integrity and compliance unit."
Meanwhile, the New Zealand Warriors are revelling in one major bonus during an obstacle-ridden - no regular Trans-Tasman travel.
Three games into their Australian odyssey, prop Agnatius Paasi acknowledged the players aren't missing hopping across the ditch, which is so often used to explain their historic under-achievement.
The Kiwi club has always been loathe to use the travel factor as an excuse but Paasi admitted there are obvious benefits to remaining in Australia from a physical perspective.
The fortnightly ritual of early alarm clocks, waiting at airports, sitting in planes and unpacking overnight bags has been replaced by far more palatable routines.
They have the handiest "home" ground of any club, with their Terrigal accommodation located just a 15-minute drive from Gosford's Central Coast Stadium. If the COVID-19 enforced regulations remain the same, seven of their away games involve a bus trip to Sydney and the other two are inter-state charter flights.
It grants the players superior recovery time and more opportunity to focus on match detail.
"Obviously staying here saves us massive time," Paasi said. "It saves us from waking up early and all of that stuff.
"For a short turnarounds that's (normally) for us, almost 12 hours of flights there and back. Just getting our body right, that helps a lot."
Since the competition resumption last in May, the Warriors have posted convincing wins over St George Illawarra and North Queensland in Gosford.
However, they were well beaten in their lone road trip, by Penrith in Campbelltown. Paasi said they have changed tact and will travel earlier by bus for Friday's game against South Sydney at Bankwest Stadium, hoping to squeeze in a nap upon arrival to have them in sharper condition.