Covid-19 update from Wellington and NZ Rugby

Wellington Rugby and New Zealand Rugby have provided these updates to all clubs relating to the current Coronavirus pandemic.

8 April: Postponement of Community Rugby in line with alert levels

Community and club rugby is postponed until COVID-19 alert levels are once again at a safe level for sport, in line with Ministry of Health guidance.

Further clarification was necessary given the initial postponement of all matches, training and face-to-face education courses was until Saturday, 18 April.

Given the subsequent nationwide Alert Level 4 lockdown, providing a specific start date for rugby is now unrealistic.

We continue to monitor the situation and take advice from the government about when it will be safe for rugby and all sports to start. We will take our lead from the Ministry of Health.

In the meantime, New Zealand Rugby, our Provincial Unions, clubs and secondary schools are working hard to make sure when we get the green light, we're ready for rugby.

The postponement of winter sport will be felt by many, but the wellbeing and safety of our rugby community is paramount. We don't want our players, coaches, referees or supporters to be at risk. We also want to do what's right for New Zealand and we ask everyone involved in rugby to support one another and follow the official government guidelines.

Rugby plays an important role in New Zealand communities and at this time of uncertainty the postponement of rugby allows everyone to pause, and take care of themselves and their whanau.

It also gives Provincial Unions and local competition organisers the opportunity to regroup, reschedule and determine how they can deliver meaningful competition when rugby resumes.

For the latest information on how Rugby is responding to the pandemic please visit

17 March: Club Rugby postponed

Due to the ongoing safety concerns regarding the Covid-19 outbreak, Wellington Rugby regret to advise that all community rugby has been suspended for four weeks, effective immediately.

This means the postponement of the start of the club rugby season this Saturday 21 March, with all club rugby now re-scheduled to begin on Saturday 18 April. Contact training will resume from Monday 13 April.

These dates are subject to change if required.

Community rugby activity includes the playing of all games, tournaments, trainings and contact trainings; as well as WRFU-led face to face rugby education (coaching) courses. We will be forwarding NZR's guidance on this directive later this evening.

The restrictions do not prevent clubs from operating on their facilities, with NZR and WRFU urging clubs to adhere to Ministry of Health regulations in this regard; these include:

  • Staying away from the club if you are experiencing flu like symptoms
  • Regularly washing hands with soap (recommended) or an antibacterial wash
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Bringing and using personal drink bottles (not sharing)
  • Limiting spitting
  • Cleaning surfaces regularly (e.g. hit shields, balls etc).

We appreciate this is an unprecedented step being taken for community rugby; however, this decision has been made solely with the safety and wellbeing of our participants, families and the wider community in mind.

Wellington Rugby is in constant dialogue with NZR and the Ministry of Health about the developing situation and will proactively keep clubs updated with the latest information.

In terms of club competitions, management is already advanced in terms of contingency plans to consider the various format options and will disclose these to clubs in due course.

16 March:

Following on from yesterday's communication on Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and Government announcements on gatherings of more than 500 people this afternoon, WRFU wish to advise the following:

  1. We are continuing to work on this issue and no decision has yet been made to cancel club rugby in Wellington.
  2. We note the announcement from Government this afternoon around crowd sizes and other measures including "social distancing".
  3. In this regard, Government has confirmed more specific advice will be provided as the week progresses, so we are urgently seeking those clarifications to mitigate risk at events.
  4. We have a duty of care to everyone involved in our game, and will continue to work closely with NZR ensuring that player and spectator safety is our first priority.
  5. Clubs can expect a further update tomorrow.

Although these are unprecedented and rapidly changing times, we recommend that clubs continue to prepare for club rugby to be played this weekend until otherwise notified.

Clubs should take all reasonable steps to protect players, coaches and managers by following the below guidelines:

  • Staying away from training if you are experiencing flu like symptoms
  • Regularly washing hands with soap (recommended) or an antibacterial wash
  • Covering coughs and sneezes
  • Bringing and using a personal drink bottles (not sharing)
  • Limiting spitting
  • Cleaning surfaces regularly (e.g. hit shields, balls etc)

We will provide another update on this situation tomorrow. In the meantime, should you have any questions please contact either Will Caccia-Birch or Michael Langley.

15 March:

You will all be aware of recent developments in relation to Covid-19 and the indefinite suspension of Super Rugby over the weekend.

In terms of our local club rugby environment, we wish to advise the following:

Wellington Rugby, as with the NZR, continue to be guided by Government and Ministry of Health (MoH) advice.
As it currently stands, there are no restrictions on mass gatherings or community activities.
However, given that this is a constantly moving situation, we will be continuing to monitor on a daily basis and provide regular updates; we will also be further guided by Government advice, due on Tuesday.

As per MoH advice It is important to emphasise maintaining good hygiene practices (see poster below), including:

  • regular hand washing;
  • covering coughs and sneezes;
  • refrain from handshakes, high fives or hongis, and
  • avoid close physical contact where possible.

It is also very important to remind players, coaches and other club personnel to stay away from trainings, club meetings and activities should people be feeling unwell.

The health and safety of all within our communities is paramount; Wellington Rugby is maintaining close contact with NZR and MoH advice and will update again shortly once we have further information to hand.

Marist St Pats will post any updates as soon as we have them, these will likely be made available firstly on Facebook.

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