The Super Rugby Aotearoa match between the Blues and Crusaders, which was due to be played at Auckland’s Eden Park on Sunday, has officially been called off.
The update follows the New Zealand government’s latest Covid-19 announcement that Auckland will remain at Level 3 for 12 days while the rest of the country will remain at Level 2 for the same period.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s Highlanders-Hurricanes match at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium will be played in front of no crowds and at an earlier time.
For Super Rugby Aotearoa, this means the following:
* The Blues-Crusaders match scheduled for Sunday 16 August in Auckland now cannot take place. From a competition points point of view, the match is now considered a draw and both teams will be awarded two points.
* The Highlanders-Hurricanes match at Forsyth Barr Stadium tomorrow, Saturday 15 August, will be played under Level 2 restrictions and in front of no crowds.
* The kick-off time for the Highlanders-Hurricanes match has been moved forward from 7.05PM to 3.05PM (Now 5.05am SA time). This is because under New Zealand Rugby Level 2 protocols agreed with government, teams must fly in and out of cities hosting matches on the same day to limit public interaction. As a result, the Hurricanes and several match officials will take a charter flight to Dunedin tomorrow morning and return to Wellington on Saturday evening. The match will be broadcast live and exclusive on SKY Sport.
NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said: ‘It’s fantastic that the Highlanders-Hurricanes game can go ahead as one final celebration of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
‘On the flipside, we’re obviously disappointed that the Blues-Crusaders match is off, but we all understand and support the Government’s decision around this. Both teams have played outstanding rugby throughout the competition in front of packed crowds and, on behalf of New Zealand rugby, we want to thank all the fans for their support for not only those two teams, but all five of our Super teams. It’s been incredible.’