Super Rugby Aotearoa finale in doubt after New Zealand's COVID transmission

Super Rugby Aotearoa finale in doubt after New Zealand's COVID transmission

With Auckland's Level 3 lockdown extended by the Government this afternoon, the Blues have confirmed this Sunday's match - a sellout that would've had over 40,000 fans at Eden Park - has been cancelled.

New Zealand's government said four new cases had emerged in Auckland after 102 days without community transmission and the country's largest city would go into lockdown until Friday.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday night announced a return to Level 3 restrictions for Auckland from Midday Wednesday through to midnight Friday when the situation will again be reviewed.

As the Highlanders v Hurricanes match on Saturday will be played under Covid Alert Level 2 restrictions, it will, unfortunately, be in an empty stadium.

Van Wyk was one of the try-scorers in the Chiefs fixture, which helped his side's title hopes alive before the Crusaders clinched the big prize the following day.

A round that would feature the Hurricanes in Dunedin against the Highlanders and the newly-crowned champions in Auckland against the Blues.

"NZR is now assessing the impact on rugby following the Government announcement that Auckland will tomorrow move to Alert Level 3 and the rest of NZ to Alert Level 2".

'Super Rugby Aotearoa has been a fantastic display of unity and togetherness for all New Zealanders.

It brings a sobering close to New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa, a domestic stand-in for the cancelled global Super Rugby competition, which had been a rare instance of sport played in front of full houses during the pandemic.

"We can't wait much longer on the whole trans-Tasman competition decision", Clarke told reporters on Monday.

They, like the Blues, will now have to refund ticket holders.

"That said, we do need to have a competition that has integrity to it and has an ability to grow our game here in Australia and grow our fan base and some of the options we're looking at we believe will do just that".

The Blues will be in touch with all ticket holders directly in the coming days.

In the interests of public safety both the Highlanders and stadium operator DVML have taken the decision to significantly restrict access to family members of the team only.

"We are busy this morning readying our facility for shutdown as per level 3 requirements, cleaning gym equipment which will be dispersed around players so they can continue to train and prepare for our final game", the Blues said in a statement.

The Blues are scheduled to play the Crusaders at Eden Park on Sunday.

The North versus South match, to be played at Eden Park on August 29, may also be in jeopardy if the lockdown in Auckland is not dropped to level 1 after August 26.

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