Rugby: Rival Chiefs could offer Blues Super Rugby lifeline

Confirmation of no new COVID-19 cases in the community on Tuesday was met with relief around New Zealand.

But the contingency planning hasn't stopped for NZ's Super Rugby sides, as they edge closer to the start of the new season. 

The Blues have revealed that they could be forced to abandon their opening match of the season against the Hurricanes in Wellington on February 27 if the current lockdown extends beyond Wednesday.

"If you've left it longer than that week we've got to seriously consider what we actually do," Hore tells Newshub.

"This three days is challenging… a week would be more so."

Blues players can keep training at home, but with just over a week until they're due to kick-off their season against the Hurricanes, Hore says that's simply not enough.

"The concerning part of this is the level of contact these players need to build them into the rigors of a tournament such as Super Rugby Aotearoa," Hore adds.

But if an extension to Auckland's lockdown does continue to restrict the Blues, one of their rivals is ready to lend a hand.

The Chiefs have the bye in the first round of Super Rugby Aotearoa, but could swap that with the Blues to ensure they'd have more time to train as a team.

"We'll do whatever's in the best interests of the competition, so we'll look at all those things as we progress," says Chiefs chief executive Michael Collins.

Any change in schedule would need New Zealand Rugby's approval and would likely affect later matches as a result.

"They've been excellent in thinking laterally on this," Hore notes.

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