New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has confirmed there will be no limit on crowd numbers when the Highlanders play the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday 13 June and the Blues host the Hurricanes at Eden Park the following day, Sunday 14 June.
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said the Government announcement that New Zealand will move to level 1 today lifting all restrictions on mass gatherings including sports events, was fantastic news for rugby.
“It is a testament to all New Zealanders that we are in a position to lift restrictions on mass gatherings and it’s a massive boost for Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa,” he said.
“We’re incredibly proud, and grateful, to be the first professional sports competition in the world to be in a position to have our teams play in front of their fans again. It’s going to be a very special and unique competition and it’s fitting that New Zealanders now have a chance to be part of it.”
NZR Head of Professional Rugby Chris Lendrum said the move to Level 1 and the return of crowds meant kick-off times would now change for the competition – now 7.05 pm for Saturday games and 3.35 pm for Sunday games (New Zealand Time).
“With the return of community sport, we wanted to give our many fans involved in Saturday sport time to finish up their games, get ready to head out, and then across town to our venues. We’re excited to be able to provide some daytime Sunday rugby in 2020.
“With the change to Level 1, our teams can now prepare normally for matches, rather than asking them to fly in and out on match day.”
NZR and all five Investec Super Rugby clubs would be encouraging fans to use the QR codes displayed at match venues to enable effective contact tracing, Lendrum said.