The first edition of Super Rugby Pacific scheduled for February 18 could be modified due to the decision of New Zealand to close the borders since mid-January before the reappearance of Covid-19. Consequently, the first dates would be between teams from the same country.
Although there are still several venues to be confirmed, in the next few hours the final fixture of the tournament that will have a Pablo Matera playing for Crusaders, which in principle would maintain its debut before Highlanders in Christchurch.
The matches are still expected Trans-tasman They can be played in New Zealand and Australia later in the season, but that is likely to depend on the threat from the Omicron variant that has prompted radical changes to the Covid-19 plan in New Zealand, including delaying the gradual reopening of the border. until the end of February.
In the contest that will feature five New Zealand teams, five Aussies and two others representing the Pacific Islands: Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua, NZ Rugby and Rugby Australia still hope that there will be a competition with the top eight teams qualifying for the playoffs during three weeks.
The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZR) plans to start the competition on February 18 but the closing of the borders will force a modification of the fixture and the strategy that could be implemented is that it starts without trips and with matches between teams of the same country.