LONDON — Super Rugby organizers have decided to suspend the competition indefinitely after the weekend’s games because of the coronavirus pandemic.
SANZAAR, the southern hemisphere rugby body that runs Super Rugby, says Saturday the tournament will be off for the “foreseeable future.”
The decision was prompted by the New Zealand government’s directive that people entering from trips overseas, including returning New Zealand citizens, would have to self-isolate for 14 days from Monday.
That would make Super Rugby untenable, with the tournament featuring teams from five nations, including five from New Zealand, and involving regular travel between countries.
Teams from Australia, Japan, South Africa and Argentina also compete in the competition, which runs from January through to June.
World Rugby has postponed July test matches involving southern and northern hemisphere nations because of ongoing restrictions on international travel during the coronavirus pandemic.
The sport’s international governing body issued a statement Friday saying the mid-year test window will be rescheduled when cross-border travel and quarantine regulations are relaxed.
New Zealand had been scheduled to play Wales and Scotland, Australia was set to play Ireland and Fiji and South Africa had planned to host Scotland and Georgia. World Rugby said the postponement is due “to ongoing government and health agency COVID-19 directives.”
Former England captain Bill Beaumont has been re-elected as World Rugby chairman on Saturday after beating Agustín Pichot, the current vice-chairman.
The sport’s governing body says the 68-year-old Beaumont achieved a first-round majority of 28 votes to 23.
Beaumont says: “I am honored to accept the mandate of the World Rugby Council to serve as the international federation’s chairman once again.”
He begins his four-year term after a council meeting on May 12.
French rugby federation president Bernard Laporte becomes Beaumont’s new vice-chairman.