Partners Xavier Numia and Marcelle Parkes, both New Zealand rugby union internationals, training in isolation this week

New Zealand Rugby has announced plans for a Super Rugby mini-series, with the country potentially lowering its Covid-19 alert level on Monday.

The government has said professional sport would be able to resume behind closed doors when the alert level was changed from three to two, with a decision due on 11 May.

“The five teams will play each other home and away over 10 weeks, with two matches every weekend,” said New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson.

“All matches will be played in closed stadiums.

“As soon as the country announces what date we move to alert level two, we will be able to confirm what date Super Rugby will kick off.

“Both netball and rugby have been working closely with government agencies on what training and playing at level 2 could look like, and we are incredibly grateful for their support.”

The ‘Super Rugby Aotearoa’ would involve the country’s five teams – the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders.

Robinson said players would need three to four weeks to adequately prepare with contact training before matches could commence.

He added that a decision over hosting scheduled Tests in July against Wales and Scotland would be made within the next two weeks.

New Zealand has recorded under 1,500 coronavirus cases and 21 deaths.

Meanwhile, Rugby Australia submitted plans for the return of the professional game to their government and hopes to see players back in training next month for matches in July.

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