The Chiefs will host both the Crusaders and Blues in a “game of three halves” on Saturday as the New Zealand franchises gear up for the second edition of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
The Blues players have been forced to isolate at their homes while Auckland observes Level 3 lockdown measures which resulted in their scheduled pre-season duel with the Crusaders being cancelled. Now, however, all three sides will meet in Cambridge.
“It’s disappointing for the Blues and the wider Auckland community to miss out on their planned Footy Fest at Eden Park this weekend, and I know a few Auckland-based Crusaders fans will have been looking forward to that contest as well,” Crusaders head coach Scott Robertson said.
“All clubs realise the importance of preparation leading in to the opening round of Super Rugby Aotearoa next week, so we are happy to head to the Waikato as it gives three teams the opportunity to have a pre-season hit out before the start of the competition.”
Chiefs Head Coach Clayton McMillan is in positive spirits ahead of the weekend:
“The situation the Blues were put in was bigger than rugby. We were happy to change our plans to help provide an opposition for both them and the Crusaders this Saturday. After the successful hit out in Upper Hutt, we will continue to make our necessary adjustments and encourage our players to stake a claim for a starting position against quality opposition leading into our first match on March 5th” he said.
Blues Head Coach Leon McDonald is delighted that his team have this opportunity:
”Things were not looking good for us as we have been unable to train as a team, so this is a real lifeline and vital as we try to make up time before the start of the competition. We are humbled by the support we have received from the clubs, especially for the Chiefs’ offer to host us and for the Crusaders who have been so supportive through this entire pre-season upheaval.”