Tue 15 Mar 2022 | 09:58

Super Rugby COVID-compromised again

Super Rugby COVID-compromised again
Tue 15 Mar 2022 | 09:58
Super Rugby COVID-compromised again
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A growing COVID-19 outbreak among New Zealand’s Super Rugby teams is threatening further disruption to the Pacific competition.

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The Highlanders cancelled training on Tuesday, meaning Friday’s home match against Moana Pasifika is highly likely to be postponed for player welfare reasons.

“Due to a growing number of COVID cases across players and staff we have taken the precaution of cancelling today’s training and media session,” a Highlanders spokesman said.

Moana Pasifika’s first season in Super Rugby is growing increasingly untenable, with the expansion side having played only one out of a potential four matches due to COVID-19 cases on their playing roster and among their opponents.

The Auckland-based team, established to give representation to the Pacific island nations, already face tight turnarounds between fixtures in late March and early April after a schedule rejig.

“It’s been challenging for a lot of teams and people during this time,” Moana Pasifika playmaker and former Wallaby Christian Lealiifano said.

In a bid to avoid COVID-19 problems, New Zealand Rugby forced the country’s six teams to relocate to a hub in the remote South Island resort of Queenstown and play at empty stadiums for the opening weeks of Super Rugby Pacific.

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The move backfired, with Moana Pasifika hit by COVID-19 and forced to isolate at their Queenstown hotel before further cases emerged at the Hurricanes and the Chiefs.

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