Super Rugby: New Zealand Rugby condemns Crusaders players breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules

New Zealand Rugby has chastised Crusaders players for breaking COVID-19 lockdown rules.

Newshub revealed exclusive footage of a group of players going through training drills at Malvern Park in Christchurch on Monday morning, mixing three 'bubbles' that included All Blacks first-five Richie Mo'unga

NZR has condemned the training session as "unacceptable".

"The lockdown rules are very simple - if you exercise, it must be solitary or with those you live with," said chief executive Mark Robinson.

"Some of the Crusaders players have not followed these rules and that is unacceptable. We have reminded everyone involved in rugby that they must abide by the New Zealand Government Covid-19 guidelines and this situation must not happen again."

On Monday, a Crusaders statement said management was confident the session was conducted by a group of players who lived together, joined by a second group. 

While they made a conscious effort to observe physical distancing, they did share equipment by throwing and kicking a rugby ball among themselves. 

Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge said the training session had set a poor example for the community. 

"In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, this is a time when our community needs to work together and look after one another, and our players are social leaders in that regard.

"The guidelines from the New Zealand Government are clear and all of the players involved have acknowledged they made a mistake by sharing equipment. I am confident, I know there wasn’t a conscious effort to flout the rules, but this is a timely and valuable lesson for all. 

"We have reiterated the guidelines to both the group directly involved and our wider Crusaders squad to ensure this doesn’t happen again."