Rugby: COVID-19 vaccination certificates required for 2022 club play

Players wishing to compete in teenage and community rugby in 2022 will need full vaccination against COVID-19.

NZ Rugby’s ruling has been adopted by all 26 New Zealand provincial unions to enable a disruption-free season next year.

Under New Zealand's COVID-19 protection framework, gatherings at the ‘red light’ setting are restricted to 25 people without vaccination certificates, extending to 50 under orange and 100 at green. 

With full vaccination, up to 100 people - including players, coaches, referees, management and support staff - may attend games at red light, with no limit under orange or green.

"We've taken the time to review the Government and Sport New Zealand's guidance, and what's clear is that vaccine certificates will be needed for 15-a-side competitions to play with minimal disruption and not be at risk to changing traffic light settings next year," says NZR community general manager Steve Lancaster.

"Over the past couple of seasons, the rugby community has dealt with a lot of challenges and cancellations. This decision gives some early certainty, and will reduce the impact on teenage and senior competitions, when there's unexpected moves between traffic light settings in 2022."

Separate guidance will be announced for age-grade and school level rugby in early 2022, as well as Small Blacks grade, aged 5-11.