Hurricanes, Highlanders still planning on playing despite COVID outbreak

Tanya Simon
August 14, 2020

Ben May will play his 98th and final game for the side before ending his Super Rugby career, whilst Ardie Savea will just miss out on becoming a centurion in playing his 99th game for the Hurricanes.

If the Level 3 lockdown is extended through the weekend, the match between the Blues and Crusaders can not be played.

If this is the case, the Blues will announce their team at approximately 6pm on Friday, along with a general release about the status of the match and media attendance.

The Blues have been forced to train individually in preparation for the match since going into lockdown on Wednesday.

The Crusaders' home stadium was filled to capacity last weekend when the Christchurch-based team beat the Highlanders to seal the title with a round remaining.

Dane Coles is set to become the Hurricanes most-capped forward when the Hurricanes face the Highlanders in their final Super Rugby Aotearoa clash in Dunedin on Saturday.

If the alert level is at level 3 or higher, the match will not proceed on Sunday. "NZR is in close & constant dialogue with Government and a further update will be given tomorrow".

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It will be subject to the New Zealand Government's wider restrictions for the country, but at this stage could proceed without any spectators at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The lockdowns may also impact matches in New Zealand's professional netball championship.

Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge said the trophy suffered "minor damage".

"In essence, certainly for rugby, yes", Lendrum said.

"We have notified New Zealand Rugby, and sought cultural advice".

"The Super Rugby Aotearoa trophy was created to be touched and passed around".

The "Tu Kotahi Aotearoa" trophy features a carved wooden base representing an upturned Maori "waka" canoe with a "mere pounamu" - a ceremonial weapon of Maori chieftains - mounted on top.

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