Virus forces Super Rugby trial axing

The NSW Waratahs and Brumbies have been forced to cancel their Super Rugby AU trial due to border restrictions and health advice surrounding COVID-19.

The Super Rugby AU trial between the NSW Waratahs and Brumbies in Bowral later this month has been cancelled, as coronavirus again threatens to disrupt the home-and-away season.

Due to current border restrictions, Super Rugby teams and Rugby Australia have agreed to limit the pre-season trials to just one per team.

The Waratahs have opted to take on the Queensland Reds in Narrabri on February 5, with the Brumbies yet to make an announcement on their trial.

While ACT residents can travel to non-COVID-19 affected areas of NSW including Bowral, the Waratahs are coming from an "affected area".

NSW Waratahs CEO Paul Doorn said while disappointing, continuing disruptions due to state border closures and health advice meant that the event could not go ahead on Jan 30.

"We had hoped the COVID-19 situation would have taken a different route by the end of the month, but we felt it important to provide plenty of notice to our members and fans, and in particular the Southern Highlands rugby community who have been so accommodating," Doorn said in a statement.

"Our plan will be to return to Bowral through 2021 to deliver coaching clinics, courses, development opportunities and more.

"At this point in time we are still planning to proceed with our second trial game against the Queensland Reds in Narrabri but we will continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the health advice as we move closer."

The Melbourne Rebels and Western Force, who spent the entire 2020 Super Rugby AU season on the road, have yet to announce their trials.

The Rebels say they are looking at relocating players interstate again due to border restrictions, although still hopeful of playing some home games at Melbourne's AAMI Park.