'A mark of respect': Highlanders v Crusaders game off

The game was to have been played at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo: PETER MCINTOSH
The game was to have been played at Forsyth Barr Stadium. Photo: PETER MCINTOSH

Tonight’s Highlanders-Crusaders Super Rugby match in Dunedin has been cancelled "as a mark of respect" following yesterday's horrific terror attack.

New Zealand Rugby's chief rugby officer Nigel Cass said the decision to cancel the Super Rugby match was made after urgent meetings today with both teams, venue management, police and community organisations involved in responses to the attacks on two Christchurch mosques during Friday prayers.

"After consulting widely with both teams and key stakeholders, New Zealand Rugby has decided to cancel this evening’s match, Cass said.

"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 chief executive Colin Mainsbridge said their entire club community was in a state of shock.

"Yesterday’s horrific attacks have left us all feeling stunned. 

"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."

Highlanders chief executive Roger Clark said they were working to communicate with ticketholders and fans.

"This is always the biggest fixture on our match calendar and one which our fans look forward to, but when we think about the massive loss of life and absolute devastation that has been wreacked on people in Christchurch, we feel this is the right decision.

"For ticketholders refunds will be processed over the next three weeks further information will be available through ticketrocket.co.nz.”

The Highlanders team has met today and all players have been advised to go home and be with their families.

TVNZ first reported the game has been cancelled and a source later confirmed to the Otago Daily Times this was the case before NZ Rugby issued a statement.

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