Crusaders welcome Government announcement on Investec Super Rugby's return

The Crusaders have welcomed the Government’s announcement today that professional rugby and netball will resume at COVID-19 alert level two.

Earlier, NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said: “For our fans, our players and everyone involved in Investec Super Rugby, we are thrilled that the Sports Minister has given the green light for professional sport to resume at level two.

“Both netball and rugby have been working closely with Government agencies on what training and playing at level two could look like, and we are incredibly grateful for their support.

“As soon as the country announces what date we move to alert level two, we will be able to confirm what date Investec Super Rugby will kick off.”

Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said: “This is great news for the Crusaders and for Investec Super Rugby in New Zealand. Today’s announcement is a positive step towards having our team out on the paddock in the near future, and we’ll continue to work closely with New Zealand Rugby and the Government on exactly what a return to training will look like for teams at Alert Level 2.”

Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa involves New Zealand’s five teams - the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders – and has been developed by NZR in conjunction with SANZAAR, the Super Rugby clubs and the NZ Rugby Players’ Association (NZRPA).

The five teams will play each other home and away over 10 weeks, with two matches every weekend. All matches will be played in closed stadiums.

Robinson said the players would need three to four weeks to adequately prepare with contact training before matches could commence.

“We’re delighted for our fans that in a best-case scenario we will have top-quality rugby back on our screens next month.  I know the players would prefer to be playing in front of our fans, but the health and safety of Kiwis must come first.”

Robinson stressed that the health and safety of everyone involved was our number one priority. 

“While we want to see our game up and running as soon as possible, we won’t make decisions that will put anyone at risk. We have always said we will take the Government’s lead on when it is safe to return.”

Crusaders Head Coach Scott Robertson added: “It’s exciting to start to prepare for a return to play. The squad is really looking forward to getting back out on the rugby field, but it’s going to be important we get our detail right over the coming weeks - ensuring we have clarity on health and safety guidelines which is of paramount importance for all New Zealanders, and preparing the team both physically and mentally for what is a reshaped competition.”

A working group made up of players, Investec Super Rugby clubs, Provincial Unions, the NZRPA and NZR had considered all the possible competition options and timings which were dependent on when alert levels dropped and rugby could resume.

Robinson said they were still working through the details of the Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup competitions, but they wanted to preserve the integrity of these competitions where they could. A decision on the All Blacks Steinlager Series in July against Wales and Scotland will be made in the next fortnight.

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said Super Rugby fans in New Zealand and across the globe would be excited that we may, in the near future, be able to restart rugby.

“We have known for some time that once the green light is given to recommence playing [in any of our territories] that a revised Super Rugby competition format would have to be implemented.  This will mean a strong domestic focus in each territory given the travel, border and Government restrictions that we will have to adhere to." 

"Given today’s announcement by the New Zealand Government, SANZAAR will now in conjunction with NZR move to the implementation of the revised Super Rugby format that has been agreed upon by all SANZAAR partners and stakeholders. We will work with NZR around the possible start date that satisfies Government requirements." 

 Click here for further information about Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa. 


Crusaders Media Statement

The Crusaders are aware of some of our players training at Malvern Park In Christchurch today.

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Crusaders Media Advisory - Wed 18 March

The Prime Minister today suggested that anyone who has recently returned from overseas travel, even those who returned before the weekend's deadline, should enter self-isolation in response to COVID-19. 

As a result, the Crusaders team and management will take the cautious approach and support the public effort to minimise risk. Effective immediately, all members of the Crusaders squad and management who travelled to Brisbane last week for the Sunwolves match will now enter self-isolation. If the situation changes, in accordance with the advice of public health authorities, we’ll adjust accordingly. 

Members of the public are advised that not all Crusaders players and management travelled to Brisbane, and these individuals are therefore not required to self-isolate, so please don't be alarmed if you see some of our team out in public. 

Investec Super Rugby 2020 Competition Suspended

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the five New Zealand Super Rugby Clubs will be following the directive issued by the New Zealand Government regarding travel in and out of New Zealand as a result of COVID-19 and the decision by SANZAAR to suspend the 2020 Investec Super Rugby tournament. 

NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson has said the priority is the safety and well being of our teams and fans as we all do our part to protect people from COVID-19 and we fully understand and will comply with the need to reduce the exposure and spread of the virus.

“Our focus now will be to ensure the safe return of the Crusaders and Highlanders and rugby staff who are currently overseas and those who need to self-isolate for 14 days will do so.

“The decision to suspend competitions is being made for many events around the world and this is an important step the sporting world can take to ensure that teams and fans are not affected by the pandemic.

“We thank our fans, partners and broadcaster for their support of Super Rugby, and appreciate their understanding and patience while the competition is suspended.”

SANZAAR will issue any further updates on the Investec Super Rugby 2020 competition.


Following a SANZAAR Executive Committee (EXCO) teleconference in response to the announcement by the New Zealand Government that all returning travellers will have to self-isolate for 14 days, including Super Rugby players, SANZAAR believes it has no option but to suspend the 2020 Super Rugby tournament at the conclusion of this weekend’s matches for the foreseeable future.

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