Moana Pasifika’s introduction to the Harvey Norman Super Rugby Pacific has been postponed after seven players were confirmed as COVID-19 cases.

All New Zealand based franchises have relocated to Queenstown for the start of the competition, with Moana Pasifika’s opening round match against the Blues scheduled for Friday night pushed back indefinitely.

The fixture was due to be the very first of the brand-new competition which also features the Fijian Drua as the second new team in a 12-team Trans-Tasman competition.

The whole Moana Pasifika squad is now isolating in Queenstown.

“Our thoughts are with the players who have tested positive, and our focus is on ensuring the have the full support of NZR as they deal with their situation. We also share the disappointment of the Moana Pasifika players, coaches, staff and fans. We know how hard they have worked and how eager they are to get out on the field,” NZR General Manager Professional Rugby & Performance Chris Lendrum said.

“However, we also remain confident Moana Pasifika can get through this period of isolation and join the DHL Super Rugby Pacific season and will be doing everything we can to support them over the coming weeks.”

Moana Pasifika made the proactive decision to have the full squad take PCR tests yesterday after it was identified that a player, who trained with the squad on Monday morning prior to their departure to Queenstown on a charter flight, subsequently became a close contact.

That player did not travel with the team.

It is understood the positive cases pose a low risk to the local community as they have been in a contained bubble since arriving in Queenstown.