Rugby in New Zealand suspended for foreseeable future

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New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson has confirmed his organisation will ask for financial assistance from the Government as the Covid-19 crisis worsens here.

Professional rugby union teams in New Zealand and Australia have ceased training as efforts to establish alternative domestic competitions after the suspension of Super Rugby failed in the face of government moves to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Because of travel restrictions, the Sunwolves will no longer be part of the competition that will involve Australia's four Super Rugby teams in a home and away round-robin series beginning on Friday, April 3rd.

Phil Thompson, chief executive of the Australian conference-leading Brumbies, said that the players should continue to work out "as best they can".

"We're in a situation where we're confident we can get through what this looks like at this stage", Robinson said.

"We know that we're going to pull out of this as a game and a country".

"That's when challenges like things like anxiety and tension build don't they, when uncertainty builds".

Blues winger Mark Telea in action against the Lions during the Super Rugby match between the Blues and the Lions, held at Eden Park, Auckland. The All Blacks are also due to play at test against Scotland in July.

All rugby in New Zealand has now been stopped "for the foreseeable future" and teams have been told to stop group training.

Over 297,000 coronavirus cases have been reported worldwide, resulting in more than 12,000 deaths.

It appears, however, that it's only a matter of time before those three fixtures are also cancelled.

NZ Rugby had hoped to play derby games between the five New Zealand teams, albeit in empty stadiums, but following the announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern clearly had no option but to scrap these plans.

"We're just commencing some of those discussions in a little more detail".

Rugby Australia added that attention had been given to protecting players, staff and officials in the proposed domestic event.

"Rugby Australia and the Super Rugby teams have made the decision today to suspend the start of the revised competition on the latest guidance from the various government and health authorities and our Chief Medical Officer", RA chief executive Raelene Castle said in a statement.

Crusaders halfback Bryn Hall said he was uneasy about the possibility of playing during a pandemic. "But at this time we have to be smart".

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