The Highlanders v Crusaders Round 5 Super rugby match at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium has been cancelled following the terrorist attacks in Christchurch on Friday.
New Zealand Rugby’s Chief Rugby Officer Nigel Cass said the decision to cancel the match was made after urgent meetings today with both teams, venue management, police and community organisations involved in responses to yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch.
“After consulting widely with both teams and key stakeholders, New Zealand Rugby has decided to cancel this evening’s match.
“Advice from police and venue management was that the fixture could go ahead, however, with strong agreement from both teams we have made the final call not to proceed as a mark of respect for the events that have occurred in Christchurch.”
Crusaders CEO Colin Mainsbridge said their entire club community was in a state of shock.
“Yesterday’s horrific attacks have left us all feeling stunned. All other issues and considerations pale in significance. We will now regroup and make arrangements for the team to return home as soon as possible to be back in their community and with their families.”
“All other issues and considerations pale in significance.”
Highlanders CEO Roger Clark said they were working to communicate with ticketholders and fans.
“This is always the biggest fixture on our match calendar and one which our fans look forward to, but when we think about the massive loss of life and absolute devastation that has been wreaked on people in Christchurch, we feel this is the right decision.
“For ticketholders refunds will be processed over the next three weeks further information will be available through ticketrocket.co.nz.”
The Highlanders team has met today and all players have been advised to go home and be with their families.
SANZAAR Chairman Brent Impey stated: “SANZAAR does not take this decision lightly, but after consulting widely with key stakeholders, the SANZAAR Executive Committee has taken the necessary step to cancel the scheduled fixture as a mark of respect for the events that have occurred in Christchurch and in the best interests of the welfare of the Player’s and staff of the Highlanders and Crusaders.”
SANZAAR policy states that in the event of a match cancellation due to force majeure, the match will be officially declared a draw and both teams will receive 2 competition points.