Do Not Sell My Personal Information
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump RugbyDump
Monday Jun 8, 2020

No limit on crowd sizes for Super Rugby Aotearoa as New Zealand PM declares country 'virus free'

No limit on crowd sizes for Super Rugby Aotearoa as New Zealand PM declares country 'virus free'

This weekend’s New Zealand based Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament will feature no limits on crowd sizes, organisers have announced, making it the first competitive sporting event to be hosted with mass gatherings since the COVID-19 outbreak began.

ADVERTISEMENT

New Zealand was one of the first countries to close its borders amid the coronavirus pandemic, and was among the first in the world to ease its lockdown, having recorded just 22 COVID-related deaths.

Such progress has allowed Super Rugby Aotearoa to take place, in which all the New Zealand franchises are pitted against each other.

Moving to Alert Level 1, the announcement from the New Zealand government allows restrictions on mass gatherings, including in stadiums to be lifted. The Highlanders play the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, while the Blues face the Hurricanes at Eden Park in Auckland.

Kick-off times have also been adjusted in accordance with the new legislation, meaning that Saturday’s games begin at 7:05pm and Sunday’s at 3:35pm, allowing as many fans to attend as possible as well as limiting the stress on visiting teams.

Chris Lendrum, the head of professional rugby at New Zealand Rugby said: “With the return of community sport, we wanted to give our many fans involved in Saturday sport time to finish up their games, get ready to head out, and then across town to our venues. We’re excited to be able to provide some daytime Sunday rugby in 2020.

“With the change to Level 1 our teams can now prepare normally for matches, rather than asking them to fly in and out on match day.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Crowds are back for Super Rugby Aotearoa

Crowds are back. WE ON 😎

Posted by Investec Super Rugby on Sunday, 7 June 2020

RFU seeking direction from UK Government

While New Zealand is already in a position to allow spectators back into stadia, the RFU’s Director General Bill Sweeney believes that the UK Government should consider relaxing its social distancing rules, which Sweeney says could earn the federation up to £12 million.

Current guidelines from the UK Government says that people must keep a two metre distance in public spaces, but Sweeney believes that even reducing this to one metre social distancing, match attendance can be quadrupled.

ADVERTISEMENT

“If you use two meters apart, then in reality this represents a secure space of four meters around each spectator,” he said. “With one, it’s one meter all around, which has the effect of quadrupling the capacity.”

“If you use two meters in a stadium with 80,000 seats and you take into account the movement of people, for example if someone wants to use the toilet without passing in front of another spectator and without touching it, this reduces your ability to 9,000 to 9,500 seats, “said Sweeney.

Sweeney did maintain that the RFU would comply with UK Government regulations but would seek “clarification on whether the two metre rule should be one metre.”

Crowds allowed for Round 1 of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa

👏🏽👏🏽 We've done it NEW ZEALAND!! Jacinda Ardern's announcement is music to our ears 🏉We'll have crowds for Investec #SuperRugbyAotearoa from Round 1⃣ 👉🏽 bit.ly/37bgCx9

Posted by Investec Super Rugby on Sunday, 7 June 2020

Related Articles

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Exeter vs Toulouse is off as a number of...

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    Danny Cipriani leaves Gloucester with immediate...

  • 17 WEEKS AGO

    'Aphiwe can’t believe it. We were starting...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Beauden Barrett scores 25 points in 20 minutes for Suntory in Japan Top League

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: The Victor Vito offload fans have been raving about in Champions Cup quarter-final

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    MUST WATCH: Awesome compilation of the best tries ever scored at the Millennium Stadium

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Awesome compilation showcases the GREATEST tries ever scored at Twickenham

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: 135kg prop lines up swan dive from 20 metres out... then re-thinks

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: 19-year-old is barely a speed bump for fearsome Fijian number eight

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: South African sevens icon Afrika done for clear cheating on Robshaw MLR debut

  • 3 DAYS AGO

    Powerhouse Tongan Thor leaves opposition on his arse with HUGE handoff

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Amazing highlights reel demonstrates why Tadhg Furlong MUST go on the British & Irish Lions tour this Summer

  • 6 DAYS AGO

    Tackle deemed to be at the top end of the scale as winger receives heavy ban

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 9 HOURS AGO

    Over $450 million loss for South Africa's economy if the Lions tour happens without fans

  • 1 DAY AGO

    WATCH: South African sevens icon Afrika done for clear cheating on Robshaw MLR debut

  • 1 DAY AGO

    Rob Kearney's legendary performance vs Springboks on 2009 Lions tour

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    WATCH: Beauden Barrett scores 25 points in 20 minutes for Suntory in Japan Top League

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Amazing highlights reel demonstrates why Tadhg Furlong MUST go on the British & Irish Lions tour this Summer

View All

Funnies

  • 2 DAYS AGO

    Comedy gold as Toronto lock attempts clearance kick in MLR match featuring Matt Giteau and Adam Ashley-Cooper

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: 135kg prop lines up swan dive from 20 metres out... then re-thinks

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    WATCH: Bizarre standoff in Super Rugby tests players on their rulebook knowledge

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Flanker has HOWLER in Super Rugby Aotearoa after butchering awesome solo try

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Ridiculous 10-minute montage shows why Joe Marler is probably the funniest man in rugby

View All

Amateur

  • 23 WEEKS AGO

    Viral video of Scottish club brawl goes down a storm with rugby community

  • 60 WEEKS AGO

    RUGBYDUMP BLITZ: This Best of the Week round up is sure to entertain you

  • 61 WEEKS AGO

    RD BLITZ - Disaster, just when it looked so promising...

  • 61 WEEKS AGO

    That glorious moment that will live on forever, like it or not

  • 61 WEEKS AGO

    RD Blitz - PROP'S Lionel Messi wizardy creates incredible try

View All

Player Features

  • 7 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bumping off tacklers and taking high balls, Rob Kearney had an impressive Super Rugby debut

  • 13 WEEKS AGO

    Brian Moore on money in modern rugby and how it should never be compared to 'outlier' football

  • 14 WEEKS AGO

    Tuisova's wrecking ball montage will make you grateful you never made it as a pro

  • 20 WEEKS AGO

    New Zealand rugby pod admit Owen Farrell is world class

  • 20 WEEKS AGO

    WATCH: Bath prop launches Amazon documentary focused on those from non-traditional backgrounds

View All
No limit on crowd sizes for Super Rugby Aotearoa as New Zealand PM declares country 'virus free' | RugbyDump - Rugby News & Videos