New Zealand Rugby has confirmed they won’t be following World Rugby’s proposal to ban scrum resets, team huddles and upright tackles when Super Rugby Aotearoa kicks off next month.
World Rugby announced yesterday it was considering the moves to reduce the transmission risk of Covid-19 but will ultimately leave any final decision up to national bodies.
World Rugby’s influential medical group proposed team huddles and spitting would also be scrapped while players would be required to change their kit and headgear at halftime.
Scrums were the highest risk event, making up 50 per cent of high exposure time during a match, according to the report.
NZR chief executive Mark Robinson told Radio New Zealand that those rules won’t apply to the new New Zealand-based competition which begins on June 13.
“There don’t appear to be any signs of community transmission in New Zealand so our circumstances are quite different and we don’t anticipate the need to adopt the law proposals,” he said.
“We have been open with World Rugby about this and they understand our unique situation.”
“We will continue to manage all health risks with stringent protocols and be lead by our public health authorities.
“The protocols including daily symptom and temperature checks, stringent hygiene and cleaning, contact tracing practices, and asking anyone who feels unwell to stay away, self-isolate and get tested.”
It echoed the sentiments of Blues coach Leon MacDonald.
“If you’re going to play the game you’ve got to do it properly,” MacDonald said yesterday as the Blues progresses towards their return against the Hurricanes at Eden Park with an internal hit-out set down for the end of next week. “We’re taking good precautions.
“We’ve changed our meeting room so we can have the appropriate spacing and wherever possible we’ll adhere to the safety recommendations but once you get on the grass and start tackling you’ve got to be ready to play. It’s a tough competition we’re going into so we’ve got to be contact ready.
“It’s business as usual for us. We probably would have had a directive by now if there was going to be no scrums. We’re expecting everything to look like rugby when we resume.”
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