The coronavirus is causing havoc in the sporting world. Last night's Black Caps-Australia one-day cricket match was played in front of empty stands at the SCG and all NRL games will be crowd-free from round two.

This weekend's Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix has been cancelled and overnight, many of the world's most famous sporting events and fixtures were postponed. Here are the latest updates.

Potential impact on Kiwi teams after new travel bans announced

The immediate future of Super Rugby as well as the Warriors' involvement in the NRL and Wellington Phoenix's involvement in the A-League is up in the air after the announcement all travellers entering New Zealand from overseas must self-isolate for 14 days after arrival from Sunday night.

The Kiwi teams involved in competitions which required them to travel abroad to compete would now have to self-isolate for two weeks after getting back into the country, while their opponents would not be able to play games on Kiwi shores as they would not be able to self-isolate for the period necessary.


The announcement has led to Sanzaar now reviewing the full impact on the Super Rugby tournament.

"Sanzaar will not be making any official comment on the tournament and the future staging of the remaining matches at this point in time," a statement read.

"Sanzaar will issue a statement on the full impact of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and its impact on Super Rugby 2020 once the Executive Committee has determined an appropriate course of action and all stakeholders have been informed."

While the wait begins to see that course of action, at least six games featuring Kiwi teams will not be able to go ahead in the next four rounds of competition, as currently constructed.

In round eight, the Highlanders would not be able to front for their game against the Lions in Dunedin as they will have just returned from South Africa, while the Blues would not be able to host the Brumbies, who would arrive from Australia.

In round nine, the Hurricanes' match against the Bulls in Wellington could not go ahead, and the Highlanders would still be in self-isolation after returning from South Africa for their match against the Crusaders.

In round 10, the Chiefs return from a two-week visit to South Africa so their match against the Bulls in Hamilton wouldn't be able to go ahead, while in round 11, the Hurricanes will have just returned from Australia and be unable to front for their clash against the Blues.

A written statement was sent out by the Warriors addressing the situation, which read: "Warriors CEO Cameron George says the club is awaiting more details about travel restrictions just announced by the Government in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic."


George will meet with the Australian Rugby League Commission at 7pm (NZT) tonight to discuss the Warriors' situation.

The ANZ Premiership netball competition will continue, with Netball New Zealand confirming to NZME that the season will go ahead as planned.

Black Caps heading back to New Zealand; ODI and T20 series' cancelled

The Black Caps will not play the remainder of their Australian one-day international series and will instead return to New Zealand.

The side lost the opening match of the series in front of an empty stadium last night, and it was expected the rest of the series would be played in similar fashion.

However, the New Zealand Government tightened its border restrictions and included Australia on the list of countries from which those entering New Zealand would be subjected to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.

"A consequence of this is that we need to get our team back to New Zealand before the restriction is imposed, meaning it will not be able to participate in the two remaining Chappell-Hadlee fixtures," a statement from New Zealand Cricket said.


"Arrangements are at this moment being made to fly the bulk of the squad home this evening.

"This development also means the three-match T20I series scheduled for New Zealand cannot proceed as the mandatory self-isolation period would also apply to the Australian squad as soon as it crossed the border into New Zealand.

"NZC believes both these series can be replayed in their entirety at a later and more appropriate date."

Masters postponed

The prospect of the Masters being hosted in September and playing havoc with the staging of the Ryder Cup has come into stark focus with the news that the season's first major has been postponed from its traditional April date due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the wake of The Players Championship being cancelled after Thursday's first round, Augusta was quick to release a statement announcing that its showpiece event would not take place in four weeks time.

"Considering the latest information and expert analysis, we have decided at this time to postpone the Masters Tournament, the Augusta National Women's Amateur and the Drive, Chip and Putt National Finals," Fred Ridley, the club's chairman said.


"Ultimately, the health and well-being of everyone associated with these events and the citizens of the Augusta community led us to this decision. We hope this postponement puts us in the best position to safely host the Masters Tournament and our amateur events at some later date."

With the next three PGA Tour events also off, it means that there is no top-flight male golf due for five weeks. And it is highly doubtful if it even returns then. With the new condensed season featuring the USPGA in May, the US Open in June and the Open Championship in July, the schedule is already in deep turmoil, with all three of the major organisers understandably desperate not to skip a year.

Six Nations shambles

In a shambolic state of affairs, the Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland scheduled for Sunday (NZT) has been called off 24 hours prior to kickoff in Cardiff due to fears over the spread of the coronavirus.

The Welsh Rugby Union this morning issued a statement saying health advice had not changed and the match would proceed as planned.

Four hours later, the fixture was officially postponed.

At the time of the backflip Wales had just completed their captain's run at the Principality Stadium and Scotland were about to start theirs.


This is the fourth Six Nations match to be postponed and there is little doubt it is the right decision but why officials waited so long to reach the final conclusion is baffling.

Fans that forked out accommodation and travel costs are now unlikely to be refunded.

"The Welsh Rugby Union has maintained an open dialogue with, and continued to seek advice and direction from, the National Assembly for Wales and other stakeholders, including the Six Nations, on this fast-moving issue," the second statement from the Welsh Rugby Union read.

"Whilst medical advice remains consistent, we have decided that it is in the best interests of supporters, players and staff to fall in line with recent measures taken across the UK and global sports industries.

Spectators wear masks in the stands during the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, London, Saturday March 7, 2020. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)
Spectators wear masks in the stands during the Six Nations international rugby union match between England and Wales at Twickenham Stadium, London, Saturday March 7, 2020. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)

"Every effort has been made to stage this game and we appreciate that individuals will have been inconvenienced. Given the fluid and unprecedented nature of this issue a postponement became the only viable option."

The latest postponement leaves the Six Nations eyeing the weekend of October 31 to complete this year's tournament. In all likelihood, Wales v Scotland, Italy v England and France v Ireland will all be played on that date.


Uncertainty remains around when the other postponed fixture, Ireland's home match against Italy, will be staged.

Following the suspension of the Pro14, the only professional top-flight rugby leagues holding fixtures this weekend are the Premiership – with the Rugby Cup final between the Sale Sharks and Harlequins – and Super Rugby.

Premier League suspended

Premier League and English Football League matches have been suspended until April 3 at the earliest in light of the cornonavirus outbreak.

The decision was confirmed this morning after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta and Chelsea player Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive for the virus.

"Following a meeting of Shareholders today, it was unanimously decided to suspend the Premier League with the intention of returning on 4 April, subject to medical advice and conditions at the time."

Premier League Chief Executive Richard Masters said: "Above all, we wish Mikel Arteta and Callum Hudson-Odoi speedy recoveries, and everyone else affected by COVID-19."

A dejected Mikel Arteta the head coach / manager of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Arsenal FC at Turf Moor on February 2, 2020. Photo / AP
A dejected Mikel Arteta the head coach / manager of Arsenal looks on during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Arsenal FC at Turf Moor on February 2, 2020. Photo / AP

"In this unprecedented situation, we are working closely with our clubs, Government, The FA and EFL and can reassure everyone the health and welfare of players, staff and supporters are our priority."

"Despite the challenges, it is the Premier League's aim is to reschedule the displaced fixtures, including those played by Academy sides, when it is safe to do so.

"In this fast-moving environment, further updates will be provided when appropriate."

The same suspension applies for the three lower divisions overseen by the English Football League and to England's top two women's divisions.

Arteta tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday, leading to the cancellation of the match against Brighton on Sunday. Hudson-Odoi also had a positive test on Friday, while Everton said today that a player had reported symptoms consistent with coronavirus and said its squad was self-isolating.

Two more clubs said some players or staff would isolate. Bournemouth said that reserve goalkeeper Artur Boruc and four members of staff had symptoms consistent with the virus. Leicester said that three players had "extremely mild illness" and would self-isolate as a precaution.


Olympics: IOC remains committed to Tokyo games

The International Olympic Committee has reiterated its commitment to staging the Tokyo Games as scheduled despite sport continuing to shut down across the world.

Earlier on Friday, the Hellenic Olympic Committee announced it would cancel all Greek legs of the Olympic Torch Relay due to the coronavirus.

The IOC's statement read: "We fully understand the decision taken by the Hellenic Olympic Committee (HOC) in association with the Greek Ministry of Health to cancel the Greek leg of the Olympic Torch Relay.

"The handover of the Olympic Flame will happen as scheduled on 19 March 2020. The International Olympic Committee confirms its full commitment to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020."

IOC and Tokyo organising committee officials have so far resolutely refused to contemplate contingency measures for the Games, such as postponement or staging it without spectators.

This approach was stressed on Friday by Japan's Olympics minister Seiko Hashimoto, who said the Games would "absolutely not" be delayed.


Thursday's flame-lighting ceremony in Greece was the first since 1984 to take place without spectators.

London Marathon off

The London Marathon has been put back from April 26 to October 4, organisers have announced.

Event director Hugh Brasher said: "The world is in an unprecedented situation grappling with a global pandemic of Covid-19 and public health is everyone's priority.

"We know how disappointing this news will be for so many - the runners who have trained for many months, the thousands of charities for which they are raising funds and the millions who watch the race every year."

- With AP