Super Rugby suspended due to coronavirus

Ruben Hill
March 15, 2020

The announcement comes shortly after Sanzaar's decision to suspend the 2020 Super Rugby season following the conclusion of this weekend's matches.

The Lions and Bulls are on their way home from Australasia after Super Rugby organisers on Saturday suspended the season after this weekend's games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rugby Football League has insisted it is still business as usual for the sport this weekend despite Leeds Rhinos deciding not to travel to Perpignan for their Super League fixture against Catalans Dragons after one of their players self-isolated when showing possible symptoms of coronavirus.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Saturday that everyone entering the country from midnight Sunday must self-isolate for 14 days in an effort to contain the outbreak.

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos added: "SANZAAR does not take this decision lightly, but after consulting widely with key stakeholders, the SANZAAR Executive Committee has taken the necessary step to cancel the scheduled fixture with the players and team management health and welfare paramount".

Teams from Australia, Japan, South Africa and Argentina also play in Super Rugby, which runs from January to June.

"We have now played seven rounds out of the 18 in the normal regular season".

It effectively rules out overseas teams playing games there for the foreseeable future, and should New Zealand sides leave for overseas clashes they would have to go into quarantine on their return.

"As stated previously while disappointed to be in this position our priority is to ensure the players now overseas return home healthy and safely to be with their families", Marinos said.

The Highlanders have confirmed they won't be back in New Zealand until Tuesday.

But the Highlanders were in Buenos Aires preparing for their clash with the Jaguares, which is set to be played behind closed doors in line with an edict from city authorities.

SANZAAR will explore options to resume the competition in a number of weeks with conference games a possibility and will issue more information a later date on the rescheduling of games.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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