NZRU COVID-19 UPDATE #3 23 March 2020

Since yesterday’s announcement by the Government regarding COVID 19 we have been continuing the work already underway to understand the implications for all of rugby. As we all appreciate this is an unprecedented and very dynamic situation, and things are constantly changing. Therefore our updated advice for community Rugby, since our last update on 17 March is as follows.

 Our advice to Provincial Unions is to POSTPONE all Game Development Workshops including Rugby Smarts, Small Blacks, Coach and Referee workshops until further notice. Our recommendation is also to CANCEL all team and group-based rugby trainings.  Although these measures are not explicitly required by Government, these measures will help to minimise the risk of person to person transmission. This position is to stay in effect until April 18th, or further notice. With the advice that this pandemic will last far longer than weeks, we will review the proposed start date of rugby and provide on-going advice on that in due course also. 

We are also continue to work a number of scenarios regarding alternative working arrangements and competitions and as soon as NZR’s position is confirmed we will share this with you so you can factor that into your own workplace’s responses. In the meantime, you can also find more information regarding rugby’s response to COVID-19 on our website, or for more general information on COVID-19 the Government’s website

 Regards, Steve Lancaster, Head of Participation and Development, NZRU

NZRU COVID-19 UPDATE #2 18 March 2020

“To be clear the suspension applies to all forms and levels of rugby (including Rippa, junior and school rugby). We have suspended all rugby games and contact training for 4 weeks. This is primarily for two reasons;
  • Playing and contact training involve high degree of contact, close proximity and a high risk of fluid exchange
  • People attending games to spectate cannot be limited in number, or registered to be contactable after the fact should that be necessary.
There are no restrictions at this point on gatherings for meetings and workshops (>500 people) just as there  is no restriction on going to work, attending weddings, etc.”

NZRU COVID-19 UPDATE 18 March 2020

  • All rugby matches are postponed until Saturday, 18 April
  • At this stage, full training can resume from Monday, 13 April
  • Non-contact training activities including Rippa can continue with sensible hygiene protocols observed
  • Use personal water bottles – don’t share with others
  • Ensure rugby equipment is regularly cleaned
  • Maintaining fitness is encouraged
  • Registering for rugby can continue online
  • Coach, referee and education activities can continue within Ministry of Health guidelines
  • Stay at home if you are feeling unwell
  • Regularly wash hands
  • Decisions about school and junior club rugby will be made in the next few weeks
  • Follow the Ministry of Health Guidelines:
  • Do what is best for you and your communities to keep them safe and healthy

COVID-19 MESSAGE from Steve Lancaster, Head of Participation & Development, New Zealand Rugby Union.

“If you have any community activity planned in the next few days we encourage you to use your own judgment as to whether you are comfortable proceeding or not. In the event that you choose to go ahead please be sure to communicate to all attendees that they should not attend if they feel unwell, or are concerned at the risk of attending, and that those who do attend should follow all the recommended protocols re regular hand washing, no handshaking, hongis, etc and where possible avoiding close physical contact.”

For COVID-19 advice and guidelines please visit

Advice to Rugby Participants:

  • Follow the Ministry of Health
  • Regularly wash hands
  • Stay at home if you are feeling unwell
  • Use personal water bottles – don’t share with others
  • Ensure rugby equipment is regularly cleaned
  • Do what is best for you and your communities to keep them safe and healthy

Carl Moon
Participation and Development Manager
Waikato Rugby Union

If you have a ‘Small Black’ aged 7 or 8 years old (also known as Under 9yo level) boy or girl that isn’t too keen to play tackle yet this season, ‘Quick Rip/ Rip Rugby’ will be the perfect option for them!

This season each of the clubs in Waikato Central and Te Awamutu Sub-union areas are going to try and put together at least 8 teams of kids of the 7 year old and 8 year old age group to play a fun and non-contact Rugby option formally known as ‘Rip Rugby’ though also known as ‘Quick Rip’ which has rippa tags, lineouts, scrums, but no tackle contact.

If this sounds like something your child/children may be keen to play then please let the club know when weighing in. Tell some friends about it too… maybe their children might enjoy it? For more information, click on the below pdf link or watch the YouTube clip above.

*Remember: new players please bring a copy of your birth cert or passport with you at weigh in.

Rip Rugby v4

(Please ensure you have registered with your club as a coach or manager BEFORE filling in the Online Coaching Registration)

Small Blacks Junior Coaching (U13s) Registration
NEW AND EASY: This year Small Blacks will consist of 2 parts: 

  1. Register as a coach online through your club’s Sporty site and choose your practical Small Black course date
  2. Small Blacks Practical Session, you will be signed off on attendance of course.

IMPORTANT: YOU MUST COMPLETE ALL SECTIONS OF THE FORM AS ACCURATELY AS POSSIBLE. By completing this form, you are covered under the New Zealand Rugby Player Accident Insurance Scheme. The data gathered from this form allows your club, school, Provincial Union, Super Rugby Club and New Zealand Rugby to better manage the game.

All coaches and assistant coaches are required to attend a Small Blacks Coaching Workshop each season. Small Blacks is based on a number of key principles to help you improve player performance and keep them injury free. The interactive workshops will provide you with practical coaching tips and strategies. Please nominate below which course you intend to attend. You can update your selection at a later date if your preference changes.
To find your club go to:

* The MyRugby App is your official New Zealand Rugby Community App.
Follow the local teams you care about to find out about upcoming fixture information and previous score. And if you’re a team manager spend less time filling out and sending in paper teamsheets so you can spend more time on winning the game! * (PLEASE NOTE: Info will become available once draws and teams are established and uploaded). 
As MyRugby has been developed by New Zealand Rugby all player information and fixture information comes directly from, and is recorded to, the official National Rugby Database.
* How much does the MyRugby App cost? The MyRugby App is 100% FREE to download and use.
* Where can I get the MyRugby App? The App is available for both Apple and Android devices, use the appropriate links below for your device, or search directly for MyRugby wherever you normally get app for your phone.



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25th March: Wednesday. POSTPONED13th Grade All coaches and managers preseason meeting: Cambridge Junior Rugby club TBC (6.30-7.30). Register for the Rip Rugby Tournament 4 April, non-contact 7 aside Rip rugby fun. Enter your team for the 2020 Year 8/13th grade 15 aside competition. 2 Divisions 1st round Waikato Wide and WCJR. Contact Paul Martin with any questions 021 401 552

30th March: Monday: All team lists and dispensations to be completed by 9am and sent by Club Delegate via email in pdf or xl, or Printed on blue paper for team lists and yellow for dispensations. All dispensations must have photo and Id attached.

3rd April: Friday

POSTPONED> Small Blacks Course, FMG Stadium, 6pm-7:30pm.

POSTPONED> Selected Club Delegate dispensations meeting 7:30 pm at Te Kowhai.

4th April: Saturday:POSTPONED Small Blacks: 8:30am-10am OR 11:30am-12pm OR 1pm-2:30pm

7th April: Tuesday: POSTPONED Small Blacks Course, Raglan Area, Raglan Rugby Club 6:00pm-8pm, Rippa to Under 13 Coaches.

8th April: Wednesday: POSTPONED Small Blacks Course. Central Region Southwell School 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Rippa to Under 13 Coaches.

15th April: Small Blacks Course: POSTPONED Te Awamutu Region Te Awamutu Sports 6:00pm – 8:00pm

18th April: To Be Confirmed: Rugby-based team activities may resume depending on direction from NZR, WRU, NZ Government.

29th April: Wednesday, Small Black Course, Southern Region SURF Club 6:00pm -8:00pm, Rippa to Under 13 Coaches

2nd May:

  • TBC Grading games.
  • TBC 8th grade (1st year tackling) Tackle Clinic. This clinic is a NZR initiate, which WRU are facilitating and delivering for this grade to help introduce tackle skills and games. The teams will at some stage having mini games against each other. There will be opportunities for coaches to assist and referee games.This event is to take place of the 1st round of rugby (Grading games). Register your 8th grade team for 2020 here for the 2 sessions:

4th May: Monday: TBC Small Black Course, Piako Region Morrinsville Rugby Club 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Rippa to Under 13 Coaches.

6th May: TBC Small Black Course, Central Region Marist 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Rippa to Under 13 Coaches.

9th May: Saturday

  • TBC Grading games.
  • TBC 3:45pm: JUNIOR MARCH PAST, FMG Stadium, Hamilton.

11th May: Monday, Waipa Region Cambridge Junior Rugby Club 6:00pm – 8:00pm, Rippa to Under 13 Coaches.

13th May: TBC Small Blacks, FMG Stadium, 6pm-7:30pm

16th May:  TBC Grading games.

23rd May: TBC Saturday- no rugby.

24th May TBC Sunday Hopuhopu 10-A-Side Tournament

30th May: TBC No rugby: Queens Birthday weekend.

6th JuneTBC Round robin rugby

13th JuneTBC Round robin rugby

20th June:TBC  Round robin rugby

27th JuneTBC Round robin rugby

4th July:  TBC Round robin rugby

11th JulyTBC No rugby due to school holidays.

18th July: TBC No rugby due to school holidays.

25th JulyTBC Round robin rugby.

1st AugustTBC Round robin rugby.

8th AugustTBC Round robin rugby.

15th AugustTBC Round robin rugby.

22nd AugustTBC Round robin rugby.

29th August: TBC Final Round robin games.


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