Super Rugby Games Moved From Japan To Australia Over Coronavirus Fears
Two Super Rugby games have been relocated from Japan to Australia over coronavirus concerns, as the virus spreads throughout Japan.
The Brumbies' Super Rugby match against the Sunwolves has been relocated from Osaka to Wollongong while Brisbane will also host an additional match due to the coronavirus.
The round six match between the Brumbies and Sunwolves will now be played at WIN Stadium at 2:45pm on March 6 before the NSW Waratahs host the Chiefs at the same venue later that night.
The Sunwolves' clash with the Crusaders on March 14 has been moved from Tokyo to Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium as a double-header with the Reds-Bulls match.
SANZAAR announced on Thursday morning the Japanese government requested the cancellation of all sporting events for the next two weeks.
Super Rugby chief executive Andy Marinos said they needed to make changes to conform with Japanese government requirements and ensure the well-being of players, management teams, match officials and spectators.
"For the integrity of the tournament we also believe relocating the matches was the right thing to do regardless of the complexities involved," Marinos said.
"Due to the fact that the Sunwolves were due in Australia for two matches following the Brumbies and Crusaders matches in Japan, and the availability of stadiums and suitable broadcast windows, the matches have been relocated to Australia."
No decision has yet been made on future Sunwolves matches in Asia including their April 5 clash with the Reds in Tokyo and Waratahs on May 8.
SANZAAR looked at moving the match to within the Canberra region but given the tight time-frame opted for a double header.
"The decision to move the game from Osaka to Wollongong was made based on the advice received by SANZAAR from the Japanese government," Brumbies boss Phil Thomson said.
"The number one priority is the health and wellbeing of all players and staff and making sure there's no risk of potential exposure to the virus."
Brumbies members will be given free admission into the stadium on presentation of proof of membership.
This follows Ireland's decision to postpone their Six Nations fixture against Italy, which was due to take place in Dublin on March 7.
Due to the outbreak of the virus in northern Italy the IRFU decided to reschedule with thousands of Italian supporters, many from the regions most affected by the outbreak, expected to make the trip.