Kiwi’s Super Rugby players are set to start what coaches are calling a second pre-season on the 25th of May. They’re able to return to training thanks to health and travel restrictions being relaxed in the wake of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown efforts to contain it.
SANZAAR, the governing body for the game in the southern hemisphere, postponed the Super Rugby season in March after just seven weeks of the contest. This was due to borders closing and travel being shut down, part of the government’s response to the spread of COVID-19.
The New Zealand government additionally introduced a nationwide lockdown which continued until restrictions started easing up late in April. They were then lifted further recently, and professional sports are now officially allowed to resume.
NZ Rugby is facing a multi-million-dollar loss in 2020 due to the shutdown and announced earlier this week that a new domestic competition involving its five Super Rugby squads would begin on June 13.
Players are scheduled to turn up for their first meeting on Monday and will then start easing back into training. This is to allow their bodies to get properly prepared for the high-impact collisions they can expect to start facing again as of next month.
NZR has implemented strict health protocols for every team which restricts their bubbles and affects games’ schedules. Matches during the 10-week long competition will be played in the afternoon or early evenings so players can fly in and out on the same day.
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