Rugby: North v South clash set to be rescheduled for September 5

The much anticipated North vs South clash has been delayed by a week, as New Zealand grapples with a second outbreak of COVID-19.

As reported earlier by Newshub, the match will now be played September 5, NZ Rugby has now confirmed.

Depending on further Government announcements on COVID-19 alert levels, the game will be played at either Auckland's Eden Park or Sky Stadium in Wellington. 

On Friday, NZR general Manager of professional rugby and performance Chris Lendrum said that the 14 Auckland-based players in the North squad, as well as five support staff, had not been granted an exemption to leave Auckland.

"We're disappointed that the game can't go ahead at this stage next week, but we understand and respect the Government's decision," Lendrum says.

"We're no different from hundreds of other New Zealanders who have also had their requests for exemption turned down, so we have to abide by the decision."

The teams won't assemble next week in Wellington, as planned.

On Monday, the Government will indicate whether Auckland will move out of alert level three, as planned, on August 26th. But even if it does, it's unlikely to go straight to level one, where crowds would be permitted.

If the rest of the country drops from level two to level one, Wellington would be allowed crowds and therefore likely be the front runner to host the fixture.

NZ Rugby will confirm the venue following Monday's announcement.

Fans who have bought tickets to the originally scheduled match at Eden Park are encouraged to hold onto their tickets until further notice.