Hold up! New Zealand's North v South clash postponed

by Christy Doran

New Zealand's highly anticipated North v South fixture has been postponed for a week, the governing body announced on Friday.

The clash between the north and south islands of was due to take place at Wellington's Sky Stadium on 29 August, but the 14-Auckland based players weren't given clearance to travel to the nation's capital on Monday when the two squads were due to assemble.

As such, the match has been pushed back by a week to 5 September.

A venue has yet to be settled and both Eden Park and Sky Stadium are being considered as options.

"We're disappointed the game can't go ahead at this stage next week, but we understand and respect the Government's decision," NZR general manager professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum said on Friday.

"We're no different from hundreds of other New Zealanders who have also had their requests for exemption turned down, so we have to abide by the decision."

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The match was initially to be played at Eden Park but the recent COVID-19 outbreak forced New Zealand Rugby to consider relocating the match farther south.

A decision on whether or not the game will be played in either city will be made following the Government's next announcement on Monday.

"We know everyone wants the game to go ahead, the players and fans are all looking forward to it and we think it'll be a real boost for the country during these unsettling times," Lendrum added.

"So we remain solution-focussed, will look to get the game played a week later and remain excited at the prospect of these two teams going head to head."

The match pits All Blacks playmakers Richie Mo'unga and Beauden Barrett against one another.


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