ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
REGISTER
LOGIN
ADVERTISEMENT
RugbyDump
Monday Jun 8, 2020

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

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Ellis Genge puts on his boxing gloves ready...

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Crazy scenes as player deliberately kicks...

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    RFU make decision on transgender players...



ADVERTISEMENT

Great Tries

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Faf De Klerk Involved With Wild Trick Play In Japanese Top League

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Italian Star With A Mind Blowing Finish For Toulouse

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Quick Thinking Etzebeth Scores Thrilling Try To Keep Sharks Alive In London

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Carlin Isles scores cracking tries in return to sevens rugby

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Chaotic try in classic footage shows just how unpredictable a rugby ball can be

View All

Big Hits & Dirty Play

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Nasty Stamp During Top 14 Clash Caught Up Close On Camera

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Leicester Tigers And Springbok Number Eight In Hot Water For Sickening Ankle Roll

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Controversy Brewing Following Lack Of TMO intervention In ‘Dangerous’ Toulouse Tackle

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Toulouse demonstrate power with spine tingling hits

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Ugly Club Rugby Incident Caught On Camera

View All

See It To Believe It

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Sevens magic as 'headed' try brings stadium to its feet

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Almost 35,000 have now signed petition to reverse new grassroots tackle laws

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    RFU introduce maximum of waist high tackling in amateur rugby

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    Big players omitted in Borthwick's new squad and Jones finds a new job - The fallout

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Chaotic try in classic footage shows just how unpredictable a rugby ball can be

View All

Funnies

  • 11 HOURS AGO

    Skydiver Interrupts Rugby Match With Clear High Tackle

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Faf De Klerk Involved With Wild Trick Play In Japanese Top League

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Sevens magic as 'headed' try brings stadium to its feet

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Australian Broadcasters Slammed For ‘Pathetic’ Attack On International Referee

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    “I’m Too Old” Referee Substituted In Bizarre Incident

View All

Amateur

  • 3 WEEKS AGO

    You Won’t See Many Better Than This Silky-Smooth Try From Llandovery RFC

  • 4 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes As Caldy RFC Hand Ealing First Championship Defeat Of The Season

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Dubious Score Decides Result Of Rugby's Biggest Schools Fixture

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    Incredible Scenes At School Boys Rugby Match

  • 27 WEEKS AGO

    The Next Dominant Backrow?

View All

Player Features

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Sarah Mckenna plays crossbar challenge with cheeky drop goal

  • 4 DAYS AGO

    Capuozzo shows class with 'superman' flying finish

  • 5 DAYS AGO

    Slade out and Lions star in as England injuries cause changes

  • 1 WEEK AGO

    Josh Bassett signs for new premiership team after short stay at Harlequins

  • 2 WEEKS AGO

    Exeter fly half to depart for France

View All