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Second Moana Pasifika match postponed

Moana Pasifika's Round 1 match has been postponed. Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images

Moana Pasifika will have to wait another week to make their Super Rugby Pacific debut after their Round 2 clash with the Chiefs was postponed due to player welfare.

One of Super Rugby's newest franchises, Pasifika has yet to take to the field in the new look competition after a COVID-19 outbreak forced the postponement of their Round 1 clash with the Blues just a week before the competition was set to kick-off.

New Zealand Rugby made the decision on Tuesday to push their second match back after concerns of player welfare were raised. The first cohort of Pasifika players and staff emerged from their 10-day isolation in Queenstown on Monday, but it was determined players had not had enough time to prepare for Sunday's match.

A medical advisory group met on Tuesday morning to determine a return to play plan for the team and recommended the match be postponed.

NZR Head of Tournaments and Competitions Cameron Good said postponement was the only responsible decision.

"Everyone wants to see Moana Pasifika out on the field, and we explored every possibility to make that happen this weekend including pushing the Chiefs match out two days to Sunday," Good said.

"However, we were not willing to compromise player safety and wellbeing, so in the end this was an easy decision. We remain committed to re-scheduling both of the postponed matches involving Moana Pasifika."

All six New Zealand-based Super Rugby Pacific sides are currently based in Queenstown in a bubble, and were expected to remain there until at least the end of Round 3, however, it is reported the squads may be able to leave the bubble as early as the end of Round 2.

"We always said that the longest the teams would stay in Queenstown was through until the completion of round three, but we would continue to review the situation. With the Government having moved to Phase 2 of the Omicron response it is now likely that some teams will return home after their round two matches this weekend, but we are still working with the Clubs to confirm this."