Sunwolves look to relocate clash against Brumbies due to coronavirus fears

Super Rugby
by Emma Greenwood

The Sunwolves are desperately attempting to reschedule their match against the Brumbies to a venue outside of Japan to ensure the match won't have to be cancelled after the Japanese government requested the cancellation of sporting events in the country for the next two weeks to deal with the spread of the coronavirus.

The Sunwolves are scheduled to host the Brumbies in Osaka in round 6 next weekend but with competitive sport in Japan set to grind to a halt in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, the team is attempting to relocate the match to ensure it goes ahead.

The international nature of the Super Rugby tournament has led SANZAAR to review its playing schedule to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, with the Sunwolves' home venues in Japan and Singapore of particular concern.

While several countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Singapore have placed travel and country entry restrictions on passengers travelling from or through the virus epicentre of mainland China within 14 days of entry to reduce the potential spread of infection, there are currently no barriers to travel into and out of Japan by the respective SANZAAR Governments.

However, the Japanese Government has requested the cancellation of sporting events in the country for the next two weeks, including the Sunwolves' clash against the Brumbies scheduled for March 6 in Osaka.

SANZAAR has held advanced discussions with all stakeholders to determine whether the match can be relocated.

In a statement, SANZAAR said its management was in "regular and close contact with the National Union Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) who have been monitoring teams within their own territories against national health guidelines and health authority directives".

"Advice from the CMOs is that within the participating Super Rugby countries there are presently no identified cases of any players, management or match officials (or family members) presenting symptoms associated with the virus, including the Sunwolves.

"Daily review and monitoring of all participants is now in place under an agreed protocol."

Protocols includes "sanitation stations" at all team venues, temperature checks on all players and staff andmonitoring of match officials.