As has been well documented, New Zealand Rugby made a decision on Tuesday to postpone all club and community rugby across the country until Saturday, 18 April, effective immediately.
For clarity, the postponement applies to all rugby matches, including Rippa, junior and school rugby.
Non-contact training activities can proceed at least in the short term while NZR continues to monitor the situation with the Ministry of Health.
All team-based activity will need to be adapted to comply with the limits the Ministry has set. This includes minimising person-to-person contact and maintaining hygiene standards including not sharing drink bottles, washing hands and regularly cleaning rugby equipment.
Please note, NZR will be providing additional information on the definition of “non-contact” training on Wednesday. Please check our website: https://www.steelers.co.nz/community-rugby/ for the latest updates on this and the COVID-19 situation as it applies to rugby in our region.
While Counties Manukau Rugby is disappointed by the decision, NZR has made the call it deems is in the interests of the health of all rugby participants.
According to NZR, the reason for the postponement and for banning contact training is primarily for two reasons:
• Playing and contact training involves a high degree of contact, close proximity and has a high risk of fluid exchange
• Spectators attending games cannot be limited in number, or registered to be contactable after the fact should that be necessary
Due to the fact our school rugby junior club rugby competitions start in early May, there is a chance they may ultimately be unaffected by the postponement at this stage. That, of course, may change in due course.
Given the situation with COVID-19 is constantly changing we continue to ask everyone involved in rugby to support one another and follow the official Government guidelines.
For more information on COVID-19 and the official Government guidelines please visit: www.health.govt.nz.
What you need to know:
• All rugby matches are postponed until Saturday, 18 April
• At this stage, full-contact training can resume from Monday, 13 April
• Non-contact training activities can continue with sensible hygiene protocols observed
• Use personal water bottles – don’t share with others
• Ensure rugby equipment is regularly cleaned
• Maintaining fitness is encouraged
• Registering for rugby can continue online
• Coach, referee and education activities can continue within Ministry of Health guidelines
• Stay at home if you are feeling unwell
• Regularly wash hands
• School and junior club rugby commence after 18 April so are not included in this postponement
• Follow the Ministry of Health Guidelines: www.health.govt.nz
• Do what is best for you and your communities to keep them safe and healthy
The CMRFU will continue to provide our rugby community with regular updates as more information comes to light.
Our Council of Delegates, which includes representatives of all clubs in the region, are scheduled to meet on Monday, April 6 and will be asked to make a decision on how our competitions that have already started should proceed if the ban on rugby lifts, as hoped, on April 18.
We will provide an update to all of our clubs as soon as possible after that meeting with everything you will need to know for when rugby resumes in our region.
As for our coaching courses, we have made the decision to postpone the Rugby Smart programme that was originally being offered for senior grades at Navigation Homes Stadium on Monday, March 23 at 6pm. If you have any questions about this, please contact Jeremy.Wara@steelers.co.nz directly or check our website for the latest updates.
We will endeavour to lock in a new date as soon as possible and will communicate this out to clubs in due course.
Thank you for your understanding.
General Manager, CMRFU