New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and its Super Rugby clubs are continuing to work through the impact of the Government’s COVID-19 announcement on this weekend’s Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa matches.
The Auckland region moved to COVID-19 Level 3 at midday today while the rest of the country is at COVID-19 Level 2, with the restrictions in place through until midnight Friday, 14 August.
Two matches are scheduled to be played this weekend in the final round of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa. The Highlanders are due to host the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday evening and the Blues are scheduled to host the Crusaders at a sold-out Eden Park on Sunday afternoon. The Chiefs have the bye this weekend.
As it stands currently, with Auckland at Level 3, the Blues-Crusaders game could not be played, while the Highlanders-Hurricanes game at Level 2 could be played with significant restrictions on crowd attendance.
NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said: “All our decision-making will be guided by the Government advice and so we will wait to see if there will be any changes to Alert Levels in Auckland and around the country for this weekend and beyond.
“We are all awaiting the next Government update with interest.
“In the meantime, we are preparing prudent contingency plans around playing the Highlanders-Hurricanes game with significant crowd restrictions. As mentioned, we will also await further Government updates and the potential impact on the Blues-Crusaders match.
“We know that there is a lot of anxiety and uncertainty and we thank everyone, particularly ticket holders, for their understanding and patience as we work through these complex and fast-moving issues,” Lendrum said.
Any further updates and changes to the matches will be communicated to ticket holders and club members in due course.
NZR advice on community rugby
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has today provided updated guidelines for the application of COVID-19 Alert Levels to the community game.
The guidelines apply to all rugby in New Zealand below Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa from noon on Wednesday 12 August to midnight on Friday 14 August 2020, or if Government advice changes.
Community Rugby at COVID-19 Alert Level 3
Under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 no rugby activity is permitted in the Auckland region, including the playing of games, training and workshops. This applies to all North Harbour Rugby Union, Auckland Rugby Union, Counties Manukau Rugby Union** clubs, festivals, tournaments, and schools.
The following Northland Rugby Union clubs are in the Auckland region and are at Alert Level 3: Wellsford Rugby Football Club and Tomarata Rugby Club.
**Only Counties Manukau Rugby Union clubs based in the Auckland region are at Alert Level 3.
Community Rugby at COVID-19 Alert Level 2
Under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, all rugby activity throughout the rest of New Zealand can continue if Ministry of Health and NZ Rugby COVID-19 guidelines are followed, including restrictions on mass gathering, contact tracing and hygiene protocols.
Individual Provincial Union will determine whether those guidelines are able to be met for this weekend’s rugby and will communicate directly with their respective clubs and schools.
NZR has comprehensive Alert Level 3 and Alert Level 2 guidelines in place for all levels of rugby below Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa and these are available at www.newzealand.rugby/covid-19
NZR will continue to work closely with Government and provide updates as soon as possible. We continue to ask everyone involved in rugby to support one another and follow the official health guidelines.
Provincial Unions, clubs, schools and rugby providers are encouraged to make decisions that are best for your communities and prioritise health and safety.
For more information on COVID-19 and official Government guidelines please visit www.health.govt.nz