Super Rugby Aotearoa

New Zealand Rugby eyeing another Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2021

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The Crusaders celebrate winning Super Rugby Aotearoa (Getty).
The Crusaders celebrate winning Super Rugby Aotearoa (Getty).

Due to recent Covid-19 developments in New Zealand, hosting another Super Rugby Aotearoa tournament next year is a real possibility.

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That was the word from New Zealand Rugby's general manager of professional rugby Chris Lendrum after the coronavirus pandemic outbreak in Auckland earlier this week led to the New Zealand government announcing that the city wold remain at lockdown Level 3 for 12 days.

Super Rugby Aotearoa 2020 concluded in Dunedin on Saturday, when the Highlanders beat the Hurricanes 38-21 in an empty Forsyth Barr Stadium due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

"We've been in a border restriction place now for nigh on five months so another five months takes you through to deep pre-season next year [so] you have to start looking at possibilities," Lendrum told Radio New Zealand.

"Our strong desire is to have some form of cross-border regional competition operating in 2021, but Covid as always is a hurdle.

"The last 72 hours have just demonstrated again what a challenge that is for everybody here, with no end in sight.

"Is there a possibility that we have to domestic only alternative next year? Yeah it's a possibility."

And Lendrum believes Super Rugby Aotearoa is feasible despite the restrictions.

"What we've seen over the last 10 weeks shows it's very much viable. The crowd and broadcast interest and engagement through media and social media... it's been enormous. It's been a huge boost for rugby."

- TEAMtalk media