Super Rugby

Lions, Bulls head home early as Super Rugby is suspended

Elton Jantjies (Getty Images)
Elton Jantjies (Getty Images)

The Lions and Bulls are on their way home from Australasia after Super Rugby organisers on Saturday suspended the season after this weekend's games due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Governing body SANZAAR said they had "no option but to suspend the 2020 Super Rugby tournament at the conclusion of this weekend's matches for the foreseeable future".

SANZAAR said it had taken its decision after the New Zealand government announced that all returning travellers, including Super Rugby players, will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

The Lions lost 43-10 to the Blues in Auckland on Saturday and were set to finish their tour against the Highlanders in Dunedin next week. They lost 29-17 to the Waratahs and 37-17 to the Rebels in their first two tour games.

The Bulls, meanwhile, had only started their tour with a 41-17 defeat to the Reds in Brisbane on Saturday. The men from Pretoria were scheduled to play the Waratahs, Hurricanes and Chiefs over the next three weeks.

The coronavirus pandemic has rocked world sport. Football leagues have been suspended across the globe and cricket has been deeply affected with England's tour of Sri Lanka abandoned and the lucrative Indian Premier League announcing it will suspend play from 29 March to 15 April.