The Crusaders will wear the unusual title of curtain-raisers in round seven of the Super Rugby season, with their match against the Sunwolves relocated out of Japan due to concerns from the global coronavirus outbreak.
The Crusaders were scheduled to meet the Japanese franchise in Tokyo on March 14, but will now play at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, prior to the Reds' match against the Bulls.
This follows the Japanese government's decision to postpone sporting events in the country for at least the next two weeks and ongoing concerns around the world, including within Super Rugby territories, of the potential further spread of the coronavirus.
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The Sunwolves' round six clash against the Brumbies, scheduled to be played in Osaka next Sunday, has also been relocated. The match will now take place at WIN Stadium in Wollongong and will be played prior to the Chiefs' match against the Waratahs at the same venue next Friday.
Addressing the situation, Super Rugby chief executive Andy Marinos said in a statement it was clear the changes needed to be made to ensure the wellbeing of players, management teams, officials and spectators.
"For the integrity of the tournament we also believe relocating the matches was the right thing to do regardless of the complexities involved," Marinos said.
"Due to the fact that the Sunwolves were due in Australia for two matches following the Brumbies and Crusaders matches in Japan, and the availability of stadiums and suitable broadcast windows, the matches have been relocated to Australia. This has enabled us to create a series of double-header matches which we hope will prove popular with rugby fans in Wollongong and Brisbane.
"The relocation of these matches has involved an incredible amount of detailed logistical and operational work and these efforts reflect the great spirit within the rugby family at times like these."
No decisions have been made at the stage in regards to the Sunwolves' remaining four fixtures scheduled to be played in Asia.