New Zealand Super Rugby players return to 'second preseason' on Monday

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Super Rugby players will begin what coaches have considered a second preseason on Monday as they return to training after a relaxation of health and travel restrictions imposed after the novel. coronavirus pandemic.

The southern hemisphere's governing body for rugby, SANZAAR, postponed the Super Rugby season in March after just seven weeks of competition as governments responded to the growing pandemic with border closings and travel closings.

The New Zealand government also introduced a national blockade before it loosened the restrictions in late April and then eased them on Thursday, allowing the resumption of professional sport.

New Zealand rugby, facing a multi-million dollar loss this year due to the pandemic, announced earlier this week that a new national competition involving its five Super Rugby teams would begin on June 13.

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Players are expected to attend their first meetings on Monday and then easily train to allow their bodies to adjust to the high-impact collisions they may face again next month.

Along with everyone else, this period of time (outside) makes a rugby player's body feel pretty good. Canterbury Crusaders coach Scott Robertson he told Stuff Media on Sunday.

It will be a second preseason for us in many ways.

New Zealand Rugby has implemented strict health protocols for each team, restricting their bubbles and scheduling games in the 10-week competition in the afternoon or early evening so teams can fly in and out the same day.

The matches will also be played in empty venues until the government and health officials determine that it is safe to lift the rules for social distancing and crowd size restrictions.

Auckland Blues coach Leon MacDonald He said players would face completely different environments than they left nine weeks ago.

Players should monitor their health and take their temperature daily and have 24-hour access to medical personnel.

There would also be no possibility for players to socialize or congregate after training, medical treatment would be strictly scheduled, and training and gathering areas would be thoroughly cleaned after use.

We are just trying to limit as much risk as we can, MacDonald told Stuff Media earlier this week.

If we can protect ourselves, make sure we don't have any Covid cases, then we're more likely to get through the season, and that's the ultimate goal.

It wouldn't cost us much to derail and shut things down.