Auckland lockdown puts Blues v Crusaders game in doubt

Date published: August 12 2020

The status of the final round of Super Rugby Aotearoa matches is in doubt after the detection of four new cases of Covid-19 in Auckland.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and its Super Rugby clubs are continuing to work through the impact of the New Zealand government’s Covid-19 announcement on this weekend’s two Super Rugby Aotearoa fixtures.

The Auckland region moved to Covid-19 Level Three at midday on Wednesday while the rest of New Zealand is at Covid-19 Level Two, with the restrictions in place through until midnight Friday, August 14.

The Highlanders are due to host the Hurricanes at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday evening and the Blues are scheduled to host the Crusaders at a sold-out Eden Park in Auckland on Sunday afternoon.

The Chiefs have a bye this weekend.

As it stands currently, with Auckland at Level Three, the Blues-Crusaders game could not be played, while the Highlanders-Hurricanes game at Level Two 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.”

Any further updates and changes to the matches will be communicated to ticket holders and club members in due course.