7 Apr 2020

Sport: Global Rapid Rugby halted by Covid-19

1:52 pm on 7 April 2020

The inaugural home and away season of Global Rapid Rugby has been cancelled as a result of the ongoing impact of Covid-19.

The Fijian Latui and Manumā Samoa were among six teams from Australia, Asia and the Pacific competing in the 2020 campaign, which was initially suspended after the opening round of matches on 14 March.

Manumā Samoa squad to debut in the 2020 Global Rapid Rugby season.

The Manumā Samoa team are stuck in Auckland after travelling back from Perth following their Rapid Rugby season opener. Photo: RNZ / Talei Anderson

Rapid Rugby CEO Mark Evans said the long-term travel restrictions in place as part of the worldwide fight against Covid-19 gave organisers no choice but to abandon the remaining nine rounds of the regular season and the grand final.

"All of our decisions around Global Rapid Rugby in 2020 have been based on expert health advice; there are global realities and challenges that cannot and should not be ignored or worked around," he said.

"We have never been scared of hard work or seemingly impossible challenges, but in the current circumstances feel that our hand has been forced to upgrade our previous Season One suspension to a complete cancellation. We will continue to work closely with all teams and stakeholders around potential future plans."

Rapid Rugby Chief Executive Officer Mark Evans

Rapid Rugby Chief Executive Officer Mark Evans Photo: Global Rapid Rugby

Evans said the opening round of matches in Suva and Perth last month showed what an exciting game Rapid Rugby had created.

"The immediate future may be full of uncertainty, but the bigger picture is full of exciting opportunities for rugby in the Asia Pacific region."