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Super Rugby set for return without Jaguares and Sunwolves

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Super Rugby set for return without Jaguares and Sunwolves - Sports Leo

The announcement by Rugby Australia of the five confirmed teams that will compete in the revised Super Rugby competition is another step towards the return of top-level rugby, albeit with strict travel regulations due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

New Zealand and Australia will be the first national unions to see the return of professional rugby anywhere in the world.

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have hit rugby hard, just like other sports, and Super Rugby, which is an international cross-border competition, has had to modify its season in accordance with government travel restrictions and health authority regulations.

Sanzaar (SA, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina rugby boards), therefore, approved domestic in-territory competitions and has been working with its national union members to construct and deliver such competitions.

Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos said: “Unfortunately the reformatted Super Rugby competitions will not see the participation of the Jaguares or Sunwolves in 2020 due to the difficulties now surrounding international travel and government isolation and quarantine regulations. The decision around the Jaguares was largely taken out of our hands with the country’s travel ban being extended until 1st September 2020.

“With international travel virtually impossible at present the revision of Super Rugby to competitions within our major territories was the only sensible path to take.

“The national unions have done a remarkable job in getting Super Rugby to return in New Zealand and Australia and I commend their hard work and fortitude in working with their respective governments and health authorities to make it happen.

“We have been encouraged with the South African teams return to training recently and given the recent positive announcements by their government, that will see restrictions easing over the next few weeks, the return to the field of the current World Champions across their Super Rugby teams will be a welcomed sight.

“In addition to having the Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa  [Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand] competition commence this weekend (Saturday) and the Super Rugby Australia competition commencing on July 3, we are delighted to see crowds back in full force in New Zealand. We also hope by the time Super Rugby Australia commences we will also see fans back in Australia.”

Super Rugby Aotearoa will comprise its existing five clubs: Blues, Chiefs, Crusaders, Highlanders and Hurricanes. It will kick off in New Zealand on Saturday when the Highlanders host the Chiefs at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin.

The following day the Blues host the Hurricanes at Eden Park in Auckland.

Super Rugby Australia will comprise the four Super Rugby clubs: Brumbies, Reds, Rebels and Waratahs; plus the Western Force. The Force were part of Super Rugby until 2017 and will return for 2020 as part of Australia’s reformatted competition.

The competition is planned to kick-off on July 3 when the Queensland Reds host the Waratahs in Brisbane. The full match schedule will be released by Rugby Australia in due course.

In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo

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