The Super Rugby is going to be put on hold after this weekend's matches as New Zealand announced that all the travellers who are entering the country should self-isolate for 14 days because of the coronavirus or COVID-19 fears.
The Southern Hemisphere club competition is run by SANZAAR, On Saturday it said that they had no option but to put a hold to the event looking at the future after the match between ACT Brumbies and New South Wales Waratahs on Sunday.
Super Rugby 2020 postponed
In a statement that followed the decree from the New Zealand government, SANZAAR said it would not be feasible to carry on with the competition, with five teams from the country participating. The penultimate match of round seven between the Jaguares and Otago Highlanders in Buenos Aires on Saturday was later cancelled to allow the visiting players to return home to New Zealand.
Chief executive Andy Marinos said SANZAAR had not taken the decision lightly. "After consulting widely with key stakeholders, the SANZAAR Executive Committee has taken the necessary step to cancel the scheduled fixture with the players' and team management health and welfare paramount," he said in a statement.
Tournament suspension will send it into a limbo
"As stated previously, while disappointed to be in this position our priority is to ensure the players currently overseas return home healthy and safely to be with their families." The suspension will leave the trans-continental provincial competition, involving teams from Argentina, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa, in limbo after only seven of 18 rounds following this weekend.
"We are extremely disappointed for the players, our fans, broadcasters and partners but given the complexity of our competition structure... we have no other option," Marinos added. "SANZAAR will also remain engaged with its stakeholders and will continue to explore avenues to see if we can keep the rugby product alive within our core markets, with the possibility to be in a position to resume the tournament, if at all possible, in future weeks." The statement said organisers hoped to devise a plan for the remaining fixtures that would be communicated in the coming days.
(With agency inputs)