Blues boss wants more freedoms for fans

Auckland Blues chief executive Andrew Hore has expressed frustrations with New Zealand's COVID-19 restrictions, saying they are getting "a bit silly" and that team is on the verge of financial ruin even before the start of the Super Rugby season.

The six New Zealand-based teams in the competition will spend the first few weeks of the season in a hub over coronavirus fears in the remote southern city of Queenstown, while attendance at matches will be capped at 100, in line with the government's attempt to minimise coronavirus infections.

"We're in no-man's land about where things go. Then you've got these draconian close contact rules that make, for most businesses in this country looking through an economic lens, everything unworkable and seemingly very disorganised," said Hore.

Even when the New Zealand-based teams return to play at their home venues in early March, there is no guarantee that crowds will be allowed back.

Across the Tasman Sea, the six Australia-based teams will welcome crowds, boosting their coffers and giving matches some atmosphere.

Hore almost pleaded with the government to relax its coronavirus-related rules, observing enviously the situation in other nations.

"We're expecting crowds. People have made their choices around vaccinations and those people who are double-vaxxed should be rewarded with being able to go to these things," he said.

"I don't think we should be held to ransom by those that haven't. The rest of the world seems to be getting on with it.

Photo Getty Images Caption: Auckland Blues CEO Andrew Hore