Super Rugby Trans-Tasman: Highlanders v Rebels clash shifted from Queenstown to Sydney as Melbourne goes into week-long lockdown

The Highlanders and Rebels' Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash has been shifted to Sydney, following Melbourne's COVID-19 outbreak.

The two sides had been scheduled to face off in Queenstown on Sunday, but Melbourne's lockdown announced on Thursday has forced that match be moved to Sydney's Leichhardt Oval.

The Rebels relocated from Melbourne to Sydney on Wednesday in the hope of being able to travel to New Zealand, but the pause of the trans-Tasman bubble has forced organisers to move the encounter altogether.

The state of Victoria was on Thursday confirmed to be entering a week-long lockdown, with 34 current active COVID cases.

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark says while the team are disappointed they won't take the field in Queenstown, the fact the match can go ahead at all should be seen as a positive.

"Our players and coaches were really looking forward to heading to Queenstown for what would have been a fantastic day and we share the disappointment of our fans that we won't be able to make it this season," Clark says.

"We certainly feel for everyone involved in the game, we received such great support from Mayor Jim Boult, Destination Queenstown, NZSki and the people of Queenstown in the preparation for this event, as an organisation we are extremely disappointed that we could not deliver the match as scheduled."

All of the Rebels' players and staff will be tested for COVID-19 ahead of Sunday's match. The club are confident that no one in their organisation have visited any of the locations of interest named by the Victorian state government. 

Sunday's match will now kick off at 5pm NZT, instead of the initially planned 2:35pm.

Join Newshub for live updates of the Hurricanes v Force Super Rugby Trans-Tasman clash from 7:05pm Friday.