Chiefs match pushed back a day to allow Rebels time to get to NZ

The Chiefs' match against the Melbourne Rebels in Hamilton has been pushed out one day to Sunday afternoon to allow enough time for the Rebels to travel to New Zealand and prepare for the match.

The Chiefs had no trouble in penetrating the Brumbies defence as they cruised to victory. Source: Photosport

Originally scheduled for 4.35pm Saturday, the kick-off has been moved to 3.35pm Sunday.

The Rebels are currently based in Sydney after moving out of Melbourne to escape a Covid-19 outbreak last week but remain subject to a Covid-19 travel pause between Victoria and New Zealand, which has been extended until 8pm Friday.

Chiefs CEO Mike Collins said shifting the kick-off gave the match the best chance of being played in Hamilton.

“Providing the travel pause lifts on Friday the Rebels will be able to fly to New Zealand on Saturday, but it would be unfair to ask them to travel and play on the same day.

“The logical decision was that we push kick-off out 24 hours in the interests of fairness and player welfare and give our team the best opportunity to play at home in front of our loyal members, stakeholders and fans.”

New Zealand Rugby (NZR), Rugby Australia (RA) and Sanzar are working with the Chiefs and Rebels on a contingency plan to play the match in Sydney should the travel pause be extended past Friday.