Sport around the country is set to be affected by the level 4 lockdown while travel plans for the Black Caps, All Blacks and Paralympians travel plans could be disrupted.

North Harbour winger Mark Telea made an impact for the Blues against the NSW Waratahs scoring a hat-trick of tries.Photo: Photosport


New Zealand Rugby is working with their provincial unions to come up with a plan for the scheduled NPC games this weekend.

Under Covid-19 level four restrictions sports events can not be held.

While the rest of the country may drop on Friday night, the Auckland region will remain at the highest level for a week.

North Harbour is scheduled to host both men’s and women’s games on Friday, while there is a men’s game at Eden Park on Saturday.

“We know there is going to be some disruption, but we won’t know exactly what that looks like until we have consulted with our Provincial Unions. Clearly matches in Auckland will be affected under the current deadline, so we will need to look at our options,” General Manager of Community Rugby Steve Lancaster said.

With the government unlikely to make any further announcements until Friday, there is a chance that all games this weekend will be postponed.

The provincial Heartland Championship is also set to start this weekend.

Meanwhile the All Blacks are scheduled to fly out of Auckland for Perth on Sunday, with players needing to assemble in Auckland from around the country before travelling to Australia.

New Zealand Rugby says they’ll be guided by Government travel guidelines.

Chief executive Mark Robinson said: “All our players are currently on a family break until their scheduled departure to Perth. We will be guided by Government travel guidelines and any potential border restrictions in Australia while working closely with Sanzaar and Rugby Australia in coming days to understand what the impact is on our plans.”

The Black Caps are scheduled to leave for their tour of Bangladesh and Pakistan on Monday and they will also need to gather in Auckland from around New Zealand before departing.

New Zealand Cricket’s public affairs manager Richard Boock told Stuff: “We still have some matters to work through but we’re confident we’ll be able to arrange for the players to depart as scheduled.

“Regarding Covid-19, our players will be vaccinated and adhering to best-practice health protocols, including mask-wearing, social distancing and operating within bio-secure bubbles. Once in Bangladesh, they will be flying into, and out of Pakistan on charter flights.”

The lockdown has also affected the women’s National Basketball League .

The second week of the season, with all games to be played in Auckland from Thursday to Sunday, will not go ahead.

The League will make a further announcement with regards to week three, and subsequent weeks of competition, once further updates are received from the Government later this week.

“It goes without saying that everyone across the Sal’s NBL is supportive of the New Zealand Government’s decision to go hard and go early in this latest battle against Covid-19,” said League General Manager, Justin Nelson.

“As a League we have shown throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, that the health and safety of our players, coaches, officials, staff and fans is our number one priority, as is the health and safety of the community.

“During week one of competition, played in south Auckland between Thursday August 12 and Sunday August 15, we had eight teams, along with a number of officials and staff, travel to Auckland from locations around New Zealand.

“As per the instructions provided tonight from the Government, we have advised everyone who has travelled, as well as those located across Auckland, to monitor for symptoms and follow all advice provided by the Health Department.

“The League will make further decisions about the remainder of this year’s season at the appropriate time.”

Some of New Zealand’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic team are scheduled to travel to Japan this week, though many are already in Tokyo or have already left for the Games.