The news comes as both squads were due to assemble in Wellington on Monday 24 August to prepare for the match, with contingency plans underway to play the game at in Wellington on Saturday 29 August.
However, NZR general manager of professional rugby & performance Chris Lendrum confirmed that the 14 Auckland-based players in the North squad, as well as five support staff, had not been granted an exemption to leave Auckland amid the rise in Covid-19 cases in the area.
‘We’re disappointed that the game can’t go ahead at this stage next week, but we understand and respect the government’s decision,’ Lendrum said.
‘We’re no different from hundreds of other New Zealanders who have also had their requests for exemption turned down, so we have to abide by the decision,’ he added.
As a result, the teams won’t assemble next week in Wellington as planned and the game will now be postponed to Saturday 5 September.
The match could still be played at either Eden Park in Auckland, or Sky Stadium in Wellington. The decision will be made after the government’s announcement on Covid-19 alert levels on Monday.