An outbreak of the deadly coronavirus in Japan is threatening to force the cancellation of Vodacom Super Rugby games involving the Tokyo-based Sunwolves.
The news comes after the J League announced the cancellation of soccer matches in Japan, table tennis world championships in South Korea were postponed and there are question marks over whether a Six Nations match in Italy will go ahead as planned.
There have been 850 cases of coronavirus in Japan and four deaths, which has prompted serious concerns for a country set to host the Olympics Games in five months.
According to Kyodo News, the Japanese government has asked organisers of sporting events in Japan to postpone them for the next two weeks to stem the outbreak.
This could affect teams travelling to Japan to play against the Sunwolves, however Sanzaar has confirmed that there are no plans to cancel matches yet.
The Sunwolves face the Hurricanes away in Napier this weekend, but will host a match in Osaka against the Brumbies the following weekend on 8 March.
The Stormers are the only South African team who will be travelling to face the Sunwolves as part of their Australasian tour between the end of April and beginning of May.
Sanzaar says it expects the game against the Brumbies to go ahead as scheduled. The Brumbies had a meeting about the fixture on Thursday and expect the same.
‘Sanzaar is cognisant of what is happening and taking advice from medical authorities and government, but at this stage it’s business as usual,’ a spokesperson told the Sydney Morning Herald.
There is consultation between the governing body and the World Health Organisation. Sanzaar officials have a meeting in early March where the issue will be discussed and contingency plans could be put in place.
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