The majority of Waikato's NPC and FPC players and staff are now operating under strict COVID-19 protocols at a facility in Cambridge where they will remain until further notice.
A total of 14 FPC players and five staff and 31 NPC players and staff moved out of Hamilton between 6pm and 10pm on Sunday night, before the city went into COVID-19 Alert Level 3. The remainder of the FPC squad were already located outside of Hamilton and will continue to be based at home.
All players and staff have been tested for COVID-19 by the Waikato team doctor and will remain isolated until they have returned negative tests.
The men's and women’s groups are using separate facilities, are separated from other guests, and will not train together until all have returned negative COVID-19 tests.
The move to Cambridge will allow the Waikato FPC team to play in the Bunnings Warehouse FPC final against Canterbury in Christchurch on Saturday, provided there is no change to the rest of the country’s Alert Levels. The Waikato FPC squad are due to travel to Canterbury on Friday and will fly from Hamilton Airport, which is currently operating under Alert Level 2.
The Waikato NPC team have a bye this weekend.
NZR General Manager Community Rugby Steve Lancaster said:
“In consultation with Waikato Rugby and the players it was agreed to move players and staff out of Hamilton to ensure teams have the best possible chance to continue to take part in their respective competitions. The FPC final is this coming weekend and it was important for both Canterbury and Waikato to provide the best opportunity for the match to go ahead.
“We have taken all precautions and worked closely with Podium Lodge to ensure that all government health requirements are being met and there is no risk to the public. There will be no training for either team until negative tests are returned and there will be daily health checks by the team doctor.”
Parts of the Waikato region moved into COVID-19 Alert Level 3 from 11.59pm last night (3 October) for five days. For more information on Alert Levels in the region, see here.
The Government’s next Alert Level announcement for Auckland region is scheduled for this afternoon (4 October) this will inform NZR’s next update on the Bunnings Warehouse NPC, specifically for the three Auckland-based teams.