Rugby registrations are kicking off for the 2022 community season and New Zealand Rugby (NZR) and Provincial Unions have been working to understand how the government’s traffic light settings can be applied to ensure all New Zealanders can play rugby this year.
Senior, teenage and Small Blacks players are encouraged to register early to enable local organisers to understand the vaccination profile of their participants, in order to understand and meet demand.
While Covid-19 traffic light settings determine the number of people who can participate in community sport at Red, Orange and Green, NZR General Manager Community Rugby Steve Lancaster said NZR’s focus is on ensuring rugby remains an inclusive sport.
“One of our values is to Be Welcoming and our intention is for rugby to be accessible to as many people as possible. We appreciate the support of Provincial Unions to encourage clubs to offer flexible formats of the game, allowing everyone a way to play no matter what the traffic light setting.
“We know Kiwis look forward to the rugby season, and having a variety of competition formats available across the country will cater to current players and perhaps encourage some new participants as well.”
Under the Government and Sport New Zealand’s Covid-19 Protection Framework, gatherings in the current Red traffic light setting which do not use vaccination certificates are limited to 25 people.
All community rugby 15-a-side competitions are required to use vaccine passes for participants over the age of 12 years and three months to ensure rugby can take place in all three traffic light settings.
Small Blacks coaches involved in 15-a-side and 10-a-side competitions are required to use vaccine passes for match days to ensure that rugby can continue without disruptions in all three traffic light settings.
In compliance with Covid-19 health and safety protocols, 7-a-side and 10-a-side options are viable at all ages of the community game, including senior rugby, as they do not require vaccine passes.
Community rugby players and coaches are not required to have a vaccine pass for trainings subject to gathering limits and the agreement of their individual rugby clubs and schools.
New Zealand Rugby will continue to monitor and review the guidance regularly for community rugby. New Zealand Rugby encourages people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.