Latest News

New Zealand Rugby statement: NZR encourages Government to include club sport in Covid-19 guidelines review

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has welcomed the Government’s decision to provide clarity on Covid-19 guidelines for school sport and encourages the focus to also include community sport delivered outside of the school system.

NZR General Manager Community Rugby Steve Lancaster said Covid-19 has significantly impacted young people, including their ability to participate in sport.

“One of our values is to be welcoming and we strongly believe that sport should be available to everyone. Many participants – both vaccinated and unvaccinated – are involved in sport through other outlets such as clubs and we don’t want this group to inadvertently miss out if the focus is only on school sport,” said Lancaster.

“Sport is incredibly important to thousands of young people and the benefits – both physically and mentally – can’t be understated. Our young people have experienced so much disruption for a number of years now and we’re concerned about the long-term impacts that missing out on sport will have.”

Lancaster said the move to review Covid-19 guidance to schools was positive, but needed to include the community and club sport system.

“This is good news for school sport but a significant amount of sport across New Zealand is played in clubs. In rugby’s case, we have over 65,000 Small Blacks and teenagers playing their rugby at club level – and in some Provincial Unions – school rugby operates in integrated grades with the club rugby system.

“We’re certainly aware of the need to continue to protect our communities during the pandemic but we’re hoping that as quickly and safely as possible we can have our young people back into sport.”