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Coronavirus forces Super Rugby relocation

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Coronavirus forces relocation of two Super Rugby matches

SANZAAR has today relocated two Super Rugby matches that were due to be played in Japan during March to minimise the risks associated with the coronavirus.

This follows the Japanese government’s decision to postpone sporting events in the country for at least the next two weeks and ongoing concerns around the world, including within Super Rugby territories, of the potential further spread of the virus.

The Sunwolves were due to host the Brumbies in Osaka on March 8 at Hanazono Stadium. They were also due to play the Crusaders a week later at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo.

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Both of these matches are to be relocated to Australia. The Sunwolves are presently in New Zealand for their round five match against the Hurricanes in Napier on 29 February.

This means no Super Rugby matches will be played in Japan in March and will see the Sunwolves effectively stay on the road for the next four weeks for matches against the Brumbies, Crusaders, Rebels and Waratahs.
The round six clash between the Sunwolves and Brumbies will now be played on 6 March prior to the Waratahs vs Chiefs match at WIN Stadium in Wollongong, kick-off 14:45 local time (AEDT).
Additionally, the round seven Sunwolves vs Crusaders match held prior to the Reds vs Bulls match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on 14 March, kick-off TBC.

“Super Rugby has been very aware of the effect and ongoing concerns around the coronavirus and it was very clear that we had to make changes to the match schedule to conform with Japanese government requirements and health authority directives, and of course to ensure the well-being of our players and management teams, match officials and spectators,” SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos said.

“For the integrity of the tournament we also believe relocating the matches was the right thing to do regardless of the complexities involved. Due to the fact that the Sunwolves were due in Australia for two matches following the Brumbies and Crusaders matches in Japan, and the availability of stadiums and suitable broadcast windows, the matches have been relocated to Australia.

“This has enabled us to create a series of double-header matches which we hope will prove popular with rugby fans in Wollongong and Brisbane. I urge fans in both cities to come out and support not only their team but also the Sunwolves who now have an extended stay in Australia.”

No decision has yet been made on future Sunwolves matches in Asia against the Reds in Tokyo (5 April), Jaguares in Singapore (2 May), Waratahs in Tokyo (8 May) and Stormers in Tokyo (16 May).

SANZAAR will continue to work with all the necessary government health authorities, national unions and teams to determine a suitable course of action for these matches, whilst continuing the daily implementation of the adopted tournament medical protocols that the SANZAAR Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) have delivered.

– SANZAAR

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Coronavirus forces relocation of two Super Rugby matches
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