The breach of New Zealand's strict Covid-19 lockdown rules by members of the Crusaders Super Rugby team has reverberated at government level, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wading in on the incident at her press conference on Tuesday.

All Blacks first-five Richie Mo'unga was one of a number of Crusaders players - from three separate bubbles - filmed training in a park near their team base in Christchurch on Monday.

Both the Crusaders and New Zealand Rugby have since moved to lament the breach, calling it "unacceptable".

Speaking to the media after announcing 54 new cases of coronavirus - 32 confirmed cases and 22 probable - Ardern said the Crusaders training session was against the rules.

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"It flies directly in the face of the advice we are giving," she said.

"I would just say to people in positions like that, we are relying on everyone to role-model the behaviour we need right now. We are all in this together.

"I'm really asking for leaders in our sporting codes to join us in this, because we can't do it alone. No-one can be exempt."

Earlier Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield revealed that almost 300 people have breached lockdown laws, with 16 prosecutions, 263 warnings and other cases referred to youth aid.

Those cases don't include the Health Minister David Clark, who has twice breached the rules - once for a 20km drive with his family to the beach and again when he drove to a park to go mountain biking.

Speaking on his Instagram account, Mo'unga on Tuesday morning apologised for not being a role model but insisted that the TV news report that first brought the breach to light didn't tell the whole story.

"As many of you would've seen yesterday, there was footage of me picking up a ball and chucking it back to some of the other lads," Mo'unga said, speaking directly to the camera in an Instagram story.

"I just want to speak about what happened and clear a few things up. Some things that I think are important to know and also some things that was forgot [sic] to be mentioned on the news last night.

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Richie Mo'unga was one of a number of Crusaders players to breach the lockdown rules on Monday. Photo / Photosport
Richie Mo'unga was one of a number of Crusaders players to breach the lockdown rules on Monday. Photo / Photosport

"I want to start off by saying this was not an organised training. There were no communications beforehand saying that we should train in this park together. It was by coincidence that I rocked up and they were there training.

"In fact, they were there just finishing up their session. My local park is that local park and our training schedules are the same so we run on the same days. It just so happened to be it was the same time."

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website