Junior club rugby and secondary schools matches postponed

The Counties Manukau Football Union has tonight made the decision to postpone this weekend’s secondary schools rugby fixtures while all junior club rugby scheduled for Friday and Saturday will also be postponed.

Following the recent confirmation of COVID cases in the community, the Government moved Auckland back to level 3 today and the rest of the country to level 2.

Under alert level 3, no rugby can go ahead.

Under alert level 2, rugby can go ahead but only if strict COVID protocols in regards to hygiene, crowd measures and contact tracing are managed.

Revised protocols were released by New Zealand Rugby today and can be found below.

“The protocols are understandably very strict and we feel we need to give our schools and clubs time to put some decent plans in place,” CMRFU CEO Aaron Lawton said.

“It’s a huge ask to expect them to get all their ducks in a row in a way that ensures the safety of our people in a couple of days.

“As a result, we’ve made the decision to postpone this weekend’s secondary schools matches and met with the exec committee of the Junior Management Board tonight and they decided on the same approach for our junior club matches.

“Further complicating matters is the fact we currently have secondary schools and junior club matches scheduled for this Friday during Auckland’s alert level 3. In the end, we felt the best thing to do in the interests of everyone’s safety was to put everything on hold.”

For clarity, the ruling applies to all CMRFU-administered matches involving junior club teams and schools regardless of whether they take place in Auckland or Waikato.

Under the unlikely scenario the alert levels are lifted completely by midnight on Friday, the decision to postpone all junior club and secondary schools rugby for this weekend will still stand.

“In regards to what the decision to call off this weekend’s matches within the Counties Manukau region means for the competitions and draws and whether we will aim to reschedule the fixtures, a call on this will be made early next week once more information is at hand,” Lawton added.

The clubs’ Council of Delegates, meanwhile, will be engaged on Thursday to determine if, under a level 2 or better scenario in Auckland by Saturday, senior club rugby can go ahead. A decision on this is expected within the next 24 hours.

All the latest information on the above matters and any further pertinent updates on COVID-19 and how it relates to community rugby will be communicated as soon as possible.

“While we are disappointed that COVID has forced this decision, the safety of our rugby community is the number one priority here,” Lawton said.

“I’d like to thank everyone for their understanding. We will certainly be working hard next week to see if we can get junior and secondary schools rugby back up and running as soon as possible.”

Click below for NZR COVID-19 Guidelines

New Zealand Rugby COVID-19 Requirements: Alert Level 3 & Alert Level 2