The long-awaited debut of Moana Pasifika in Super Rugby has been further delayed by the postponement of the team’s scheduled second-round match against the Chiefs.
The Super Rugby newcomers’ long-awaited debut was postponed for a second time on Tuesday because of safety concerns for players who had returned positive tests for coronavirus.
The team, one of two new Pacific Island entries to this year’s competition alongside Fijian Drua, were ordered to isolate earlier this month after several players tested positive.
That forced Moana’s first-round match against the Auckland Blues to be postponed but there were hopes they would take the field against the Chiefs on Sunday.
New Zealand Rugby said on Tuesday that Super Rugby’s medical advisory panel had decided that the match posed a threat to the players’ health.
“Everyone wants to see Moana Pasifika out on the field, and we explored every possibility to make that happen,” said NZR head of tournaments Cameron Good. “However, we were not willing to compromise player safety and wellbeing.”
Revised dates for the team’s matches have not been set, but Good said New Zealand Rugby were committed to staging them.
© Agence France-Presse