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Otago will begin its season with no fans present.
Both the Mitre 10 Cup and Farah Palmer Cup matches scheduled for next weekend will be played in an empty Forsyth Barr Stadium, the Otago Rugby Union confirmed in a release yesterday.
The decision follows the Government’s announcement that Covid-19 Alert Level 2 will continue until at least September 14.
That limits gatherings to a maximum of 100 people.
The Mitre 10 Cup team is set to play Auckland at 4.35pm next Saturday. The match will be televised.
The Otago Spirit will play Hawke’s Bay a day later at 12.30pm.
That game will be live-streamed on the Otago Rugby Facebook page by Elevate Analysis.
The Otago Premier School competition’s final is also scheduled to be played at the stadium earlier on Saturday.
Otago Secondary School Rugby Council chairman Greg Heller had not had a chance to speak to anyone yet when contacted by the Otago Daily Times.
However, his initial thoughts were the final would likely go ahead without a crowd.
Part of the reason for playing at the stadium had been that the game was to be televised by Sky Sport and the production crew would already be set up for the Mitre 10 Cup game.
The Otago Rugby Union said it would be in contact with its season ticket-holders.