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NZR statement: Super Rugby Pacific bubble breach in Queenstown

By Sam Smith
(Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

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Rugby authorities in New Zealand have confirmed the bubble safety net thrown up around the teams based in Queenstown ahead of the upcoming start to the new  Super Rugby Pacific has been breached by covid and measures have been taken to control the potential for spread. 

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The new campaign is set to open on February 18 with the meeting of Moana Pasifika and the Blues in Dunedin but both those teams have been mentioned in a statement released by the NZR.

“One?of the players in the DHL Super Rugby Pacific bubble in Queenstown?has this evening?[Wednesday] been identified as a possible close contact of a confirmed covid case and team protocols have been applied. 

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“The player, a member of the Blues camp, and his roommate have as a precaution been isolated from the rest of the group in line with public health protocols. The team doctor?is conducting a PCR test to supplement the twice-weekly rapid antigen tests all teams are receiving. 

“A member of the wider Moana Pasifika squad has also been identified as a close contact. He is not in camp with the team and is awaiting a covid test result. NZR will provide an update once that test result has been received. 

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“Once the team members’ test results are received, the covid protocols will be revisited.? The Moana Pasifika and Blues squads are isolating in their respective hotels. New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and the six New Zealand-based Super Rugby clubs elected to move to Queenstown and operate in separate, controlled bubbles to mitigate the risk of a covid close contact event or positive case sidelining entire squads.” 

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Chris Lendrum, general manager of professional rugby and performance, added: “We always knew that, given just how transmissible Omicron is and how quickly it has swept the globe, it was a distinct possibility our teams could be affected, despite our efforts to relocate teams and the heightened protocols within our environments. 

“We are working with public health officials to ensure we are minimising any risk of infection within the Super Rugby bubble and within the local community.” 

 

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