Coronavirus: Plans for remodelled NZ Super Rugby tournament postponed

New Zealand Rugby has been forced to suspend plans for a custom-built domestic competition after the country's alert status was raised to a more restrictive level to counter the coronavirus.

Any prospect of the proposed competition involving the five Kiwi Super Rugby teams became untenable when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced new measures in which non-essential businesses must close and all indoor and outdoor events are banned.

NZ Rugby had gone some way towards establishing a competition to replace Super Rugby, which has been suspended and appears almost certain to be cancelled given international travel restrictions.

All rugby in New Zealand has been suspended indefinitely.

The move follows that of Rugby Australia, which earlier on Monday said its own remodelled competition wouldn't start until at least May, having originally targeted an early April start.

NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said no target start date had been set following the latest setback.

"We know we've got some challenges in front of us but we've got a great team and a great sport and we remain positive about the future of our game," he said.

"We know that we're going to pull out of this as a game and a country. It's just a matter of when. The game will sustain this in the long term, it's just what happens in the near term to make sure that takes place."