New Zealand Rugby scraps all first-class, club and school matches for this weekend

The Covid-19 alert level 4 lockdown has led to the cancellation or postponement of this weekend’s provincial rugby matches and all community and school rugby.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) made the announcement on Wednesday after the return of Covid-19 cases in the community in Auckland.

From Tuesday midnight, the government announced that Auckland and Coromandel will remain at level 4 for seven days, while the rest of New Zealand is at level 4 for three days – at this stage.

There were seven community cases as of Wednesday afternoon’s Covid-19 press conference.

The next rounds of the national provincial championship (NPC), Farah Palmer Cup (FPC) and Heartland Championship will be played at a later date, NZR said.

No community rugby is to be played at any level. However, provincial unions and their local organising bodies will determine whether those matches are cancelled or postponed.

Among the postponements is Auckland's NPC match against Bay of Plenty at Eden Park on Saturday, a fixture that was likely to feature the debut of former Warriors captain Roger Tuivasa-Sheck after his code switch from rugby league.

Waikato Rugby’s planned centenary celebrations for Saturday were also postponed, a spokesman for the union told Stuff.