Professional rugby to return in New Zealand next month

Australian-only Super Rugby competition to include axed Western Force

Australian-only Super Rugby competition to include axed Western Force

The Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders will have four weeks to prepare with contact training before the tournament kicks off.

A decision over the All Blacks' scheduled home Tests in July against Wales and Scotland is expected within the next two weeks and New Zealand Rugby is yet to announce arrangements for the resumption of women's rugby.

"Doing it well" will mean teams flying in and out on chartered planes on match days and playing at closed stadiums until authorities are willing to allow spectators back into venues.

A domestic tournament involving New Zealand's five Super Rugby teams will begin on June 13 after the New Zealand government Monday loosened restrictions on sporting competitions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The competition was made possible after New Zealand on Monday announced that it was phasing out a seven-week lockdown that has helped contain Covid-19.

These include daily symptom and temperature checks for everyone involved, charter flights to matches, as well as measures to help contract tracing if there is an outbreak.

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"I know our players are excited and I'm sure rugby fans will be as well".

The results in the competition will have no bearing on the wider Super Rugby competition.

However, it will require an early start for SA fans, with New Zealand's Saturday matches all kicking off at 07:05am (SA time), while the Sunday matches get under way at 05:05am (SA time).

Defending Super Rugby champions Canterbury Crusaders will not have a fixture in the first week.

'With the support of the provincial unions, we have been able to schedule a full 14-team Mitre 10 Cup Premiership and Championship competition, with kick-off on September 11, ' said Robinson.

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