Kiwi Super Rugby players and their family members are being asked to take additional strict steps to steer clear of the novel coronavirus COVID-19. This is as we approach the Aotearoa competition and its kickoff scheduled for June 13.
Measures extend to not just players but their nearest and dearest as well and include bypassing public places. Teams will additionally be operating inside a very strict bubble that will see them avoiding interactions with even their own front-office staff! Nobody’s taking any chances ahead of what’s being seen as a critical juncture for the sport in the wake of the global pandemic.
New Zealand Rugby’s message to the five franchises who will be coming together again as the first top-level professional competition resumes after the shutdown is crystal-clear. Extreme measures are being taken to avoid a positive test for the virus since this would destabilise resumption plans and push the date back even further.
Franchises have been instructed to leave no stone unturned on the safety and hygiene front as the month-long buildup to the season’s resumption begins. This will be taking the form of a two-round, NZ-only, Aotearoa League unfolding over 10 weeks.
Teams are scheduled to start on-field training today, with the whole of last week spent finalising plans and bringing players to the cities hosting games from their boltholes during lockdown. They’ve also been planning the scene-sets via Zoom meetings. The message is clear, that the world they’re re-entering looks nothing like the one they left behind in mid-March.
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