New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson has confirmed that all employees are working from home today to assess the potential risk of coronavirus within its staff.
Robinson said the risk is “very low” but the governing body is taking a precautionary lockdown of its Wellington HQ and is “following Ministry of Health regulations on a staff member”.
“We’re working from home today,” Robinson said. “I’m not specifically but the team is and we are assessing that. We’ll have more information later on. And we’ll be able to inform the team after that stage. Hopefully some time later this afternoon.
“We are following ministry of health regulations on a staff member. I haven’t directly [in contact with the staff member] but our team certainly has. We’re following all the precautions under the ministry of health guidelines.”
Robinson confirmed that the staff member had not been in contact with any of the Super Rugby teams.
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“This is an employee matter but we’ve taken absolute care to ensure that that person is being taken care of, that we’ve taken care of all of our other staff as soon as we realistically could,” he said. “And at this stage we think there’s a very, very low risk of the person having coronavirus. And we also think there’s a very, very low risk of transmission at this stage.
“From our perspective this is very, very much precautionary. We’re just making sure we take all care. Based on the advice we’ve had we think it’s very low risk but we’ve got a duty to care for our people. We’re taking no risk in this space and therefore we’ve taken the measures we’ve had.”
NZ Rugby is also currently working on a five-team New Zealand only competition which has been green-lighted by SANZAAR, after Super Rugby was suspended for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus pandemic and government self-isolation measures.
“We’re quite excited about what we’re starting to develop with our Super clubs and Sky obviously heavily involved … this is a process which is quite complex and detailed,” Robinson said of Sky Sports’ The Breakdown last night.
“We’d like to think by the end of the week we’d be in a position to share more detail. But it’s obvious it will be around a domestic-shaped competition and we’ve got around 10 to 12 weeks to provide some rugby product for our fans.
“We know people are going to be interested because there are a lot of restrictions around what people can do at the moment. We’re very mindful of what our fans want at the moment. This is a fresh opportunity and we’ve got to take it and make something exciting out of it.”
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