Highlanders and Crusaders cancelled due to mosque shootings

The Chiefs and Hurricanes players link arms on Friday before their game. Picture: MICHAEL BRADLEY/GETTY IMAGES

THE Highlanders and Crusaders at Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday has been cancelled due to Friday’s Christchurch mosque shootings.

According to an article on stuff.co.nz the decision was made after New Zealand Rugby met with both teams, venue management, police and community organisations involved in responses to yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch.

“After consulting widely with both teams and key stakeholders, New Zealand Rugby has decided to cancel this evening’s match,” said NZ Rugby’s chief rugby officer Nigel Cass in a statement.

“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.”

The article further states Crusaders CEO Colin Mansbridge 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 CEO 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 wreaked 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 had been expecting a crowd of more than 20,000 for the game on Saturday.

In 2011, after the Christchurch earthquakes, the Crusaders and Hurricanes were both awarded two competition points after their round two game was cancelled.

Sanzaar has been approached for comment.

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