Super Rugby explores home derbies amid travel bans_1

In the midst of an indefinite hiatus, Super Rugby could forge ahead with domestic derbies, according to Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castles.

The 2020 tournament has been placed on hold in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen some of the participating countries impose international travel bans.

Sanzaar mulls may forward

It is yet unclear when the competition is set to resume but with time elapsing without fixtures, this could place doubt on whether the scheduled fixtures will all be able to take place before its conclusion.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, Castle said Sanzaar was looking at forging ahead with home derbies as a possible solution to the current break in competition.

“We haven’t got to a final date yet,” she said.
“That’s what all the Sanzaar nations are working together with their competition managers to see if we can find a competition that makes sense, that links into the games that have already been played, potentially gives us an outcome that allows to still play a finals series.
“We’re working cross country from a Sanzaar perspective and are also in consultation with our broadcasters.
“The travel restrictions mean that cross-border competition doesn’t seem realistic, so domestic obviously leads the conversation. That’s all the work we’re doing and we expect we’d be able to communicate on that in the coming days.”Raelene Castle

How the coronavirus has impacted Super Rugby

The competition came to a stop just seven rounds of matches into the 2020 season, with the Sharks leading the overall standings.

The break was announced after New Zealand implemented travel bans to curb the rapid spread of the global pandemic.

Of the five participating countries, Japan was the first to impose travel restrictions by imposing strict border control measures on 9 March for travellers from China and South Korea.

After New Zealand followed suit on Saturday, so did Australia, South Africa, and Argentina.

Coronavirus infections are currently sitting at over 180 000 world wide, with deaths crossing the 7 000 mark on Tuesday.

Japan is among the countries with the highest prevalence of the virus with over 800 known cases, with Australia also high up with 452 confirmed cases.

Argentina was sitting at 65 cases as of Monday, followed closely by South Africa with 62.

New Zealand remains the least affected countries out of those taking part in Super Rugby, with on 12 reported cases.