Highlanders-Crusaders match called off following Christchurch terror attacks

Tonight’s Highlanders-Crusaders Super Rugby match in Dunedin has been cancelled.

The match was scheduled to kick off at 7.30pm at Forsyth Barr Stadium.

In a media release this afternoon, New Zealand Rugby confirmed the news, saying that both teams decided to call off the match despite police assuring it was safe to play.

"After consulting widely with both teams and key stakeholders, New Zealand Rugby has decided to cancel this evening's match," the statement read.

"Advice from police and venue management was that the fixture could go ahead, however, with strong agreement from both teams we have made the final call not to proceed as a mark of respect for the events that have occurred in Christchurch."

Crusaders CEO Colin Mainsbridge spoke out on behalf of the side, with the side a part of the Christchurch community devastated by yesterday's attacks.

"Yesterday's horrific attacks have left us all feeling stunned," Mainsbridge says.

"All other issues and considerations pale in significance. We will now regroup and make arrangements for the team to return home as soon as possible to be back in their community and with their families."

1 NEWS understands that the Highlanders were eager to have tonight's clash go ahead, but the Crusaders made the decision to travel home to Christchurch.

Events across Christchurch have been cancelled in the wake of yesterday's shootings, leaving 49 so far confirmed dead.

Police officers cordon off an area of Christchurch, March 15, 2019. Source: Getty