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Warriors open their hearts after Christchurch tragedy

The Warriors have thrown open the doors to Mt Smart Stadium and ensured a 20,000-strong crowd for their season-opener against the Bulldogs by offering free entry in response to the devastating terrorist attack in Christchurch.

New Zealand as a nation is in shock after 49 people were killed in an attack on a Christchurch mosque on Friday.

The Warriors announced early on Saturday that they would not be charging for tickets to their clash with Canterbury in a mark of respect, with the allocation capped at 20,000 to ensure crowd numbers could be managed safely.

An overwhelming response from the public was applauded by Warriors CEO Cameron George.

"As a nation we are hurting, and as New Zealand’s only team in the NRL we wanted to encourage the public to join us tonight to collectively acknowledge those who have been affected in yesterday’s devastating acts," George said.

"We wanted to use tonight’s match as an opportunity for the New Zealand public to stand shoulder to shoulder, and the public has clearly shown they want to be part of this. 

"Let’s stand as one tonight. We will not be deterred. Our house is your house, just as our New Zealand is your New Zealand."

The Warriors had been tracking for a crowd of around 16,500 for the Canterbury clash prior to the announcement of free tickets.

George also stressed that extra security measures will be introduced for Saturday's game. 

"We want the public to come and feel safe at Mt Smart Stadium," George said.

"We have been in constant dialogue with Auckland Stadiums and the New Zealand Police since yesterday and I can assure fans we take their safety seriously."

The Warriors will wear black armbands for the fixture with a minutes' silence to be observed.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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