April 9, 2020
The Taranaki Rugby Football Union is working collaboratively with all rugby clubs in the province to provide potential options for a reduced CMK competition in 2020.
CMK club rugby was due to kick off on March 28 but with Alert Level 4 in effect, the country was forced into lockdown for four weeks to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking via video conference technology on Wednesday afternoon, Club Chairs and Taranaki Rugby agreed that one full round followed by semi-finals and finals is the preferred option when a start becomes possible. This scenario would see the start date for Club Rugby being 16th May 2020 with finals day being 11th July. If an earlier start was possible preparation, trainings and pre-season matches would commence.
Community Rugby Manager Cole Brown said the purpose of the video conference was to work alongside clubs and stakeholders in designing a modified competition specific to the situation created by COVID19.
“It is our intention to facilitate rugby opportunities for players at all levels in 2020, in order to achieve this, we need to innovate and consider modified events and competitions. Through this innovation we will learn valuable lessons which can be applied in the future.
“We are well supported by New Zealand Rugby, who is in frequent contact with the Ministry of Health. Everyone is working towards a return to rugby at a time which it becomes safe to do so. The health and wellbeing of our players, supporters and community is top priority.
“Given the current lockdown and constantly evolving situation giving a specific start date is ambitious, but we can begin to plan for different scenarios,” Brown said.
With the new proposed date of April 18 postponed to align with Alert Level 4, Brown said it gives the clubs and Union time to work together.