New Zealand's North v South game in doubt

The game was scheduled to be played at Eden Park in Auckland
The game was scheduled to be played at Eden Park in Auckland

New Zealand Rugby's North v South game is under doubt following the restrictions in the country due to the new resurgence of Covid-19.

New Zealand, which celebrated 100 days without community transmission saw a new surge in the novel coronavirus numbers that forced Auckland to go under lockdown with level three restrictions while the remaining cities in the country to have level two restrictions.

The game which was originally scheduled to be played on 29th August at Eden Park in Auckland was postponed to 5th September and now is under doubt as the level two restrictions is likely to remain in the New Zealand's biggest city after the government extended the lockdown until 30th August.

A level two restriction from 31st August will limit mass gatherings to 10 people which will effectively rule out the game at Eden Park.

Wellington and Dunedin being the other alternate options which might also force the New Zealand board to conduct the game without spectators if level two restrictions persist in the other parts of the country as well.

The New Zealand board is expected to make a formal announcement on the game in the course of the week.

North squad

Forwards: Asafo Aumua (Wellington), Ash Dixon (Hawke’s Bay), Kurt Eklund (Auckland), Alex Fidow (Wellington), Ayden Johnstone (Waikato), Angus Ta’avao (Auckland), Karl Tu’inukuafe (North Harbour), Ofa Tuungafasi (Auckland), Scott Scrafton (Auckland), Patrick Tuipulotu (Auckland, captain), Tupou Vaa’i (Taranaki), Lachlan Boshier (Taranaki), Akira Ioane (Auckland), Dalton Papalii (Auckland), Ardie Savea (Wellington), Hoskins Sotutu (Auckland)

Backs: TJ Perenara (Wellington), Aaron Smith (Manawatu), Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi (Taranaki), Beauden Barrett (Taranaki), Rieko Ioane (Auckland), Anton Lienert-Brown (Waikato), Peter Umaga-Jensen (Wellington), Caleb Clarke (Auckland), Mitchell Hunt (Auckland), Damian McKenzie (Waikato), Sevu Reece (Waikato), Mark Telea (North Harbour)

South squad

Forwards: Liam Coltman (Otago), Andrew Makalio (Tasman), Codie Taylor (Canterbury), George Bower (Otago), Alex Hodgman (Canterbury), Nepo Laulala (Canterbury), Tyrel Lomax (Tasman), Joe Moody (Canterbury), Mitchell Dunshea (Canterbury), Manaaki Selby-Rickit (Southland), Samuel Whitelock (Canterbury, captain), Tom Christie (Canterbury), Shannon Frizell (Tasman), Dillon Hunt (Otago), Reed Prinsep (Canterbury), Tom Sanders (Canterbury)

Backs: Finlay Christie (Tasman), Mitchell Drummond (Canterbury), Brad Weber (Otago), Josh Ioane (Otago), Richie Mo’unga (Canterbury), Braydon Ennor (Canterbury), Leicester Faingaanuku (Tasman), Jack Goodhue (Canterbury), Sio Tomkinson (Otago), Jordie Barrett (Canterbury), George Bridge (Canterbury), Will Jordan (Tasman)