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Southland Stuges sees September 28 as a possible NPC return date.

Rugby Southland general manager Steve Mitchell.

Konda Herath / Equipment.

Rugby Southland general manager Steve Mitchell.

Southland Stigs is aiming to return to the field on September 28 if the alert level 2 drops.

There were two rounds in the 2021 National Provincial Championship season when the country was shut down on August 16 due to the re-emergence of Cove 19.

Rugby Southland general manager Steve Mitchell said all those planning the NPC tournament would be back by September 24, with the exception of three Auckland Region teams who would rejoin the tournament later.

Stiggs is set to play Auckland on September 24. Instead, the game will be played in mid-weekend at the end of the season.

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Southland are set to return to action against Canterbury on September 28 at Invercargill Rugby Park.

Mitchell said New Zealand Rugby is committed to completing the full NPC tournament this year if possible.

Under the current revised schedule, the finals will be on November 21, although the competition can run until November 28 if needed.

“The players definitely want to get back in the game,” he said.

“They’re going a little crazy. They’re fighters so it can be hard to keep them in a cage.

Players cannot return to full training or play until they drop to Alert Level 2.

The status of the current Alert Level 3, for those outside Auckland, will be reviewed by the government on Monday.

Initially, it was thought that players would be trained for a week before the competition resumed, but it is thought that some provinces have been extended for two weeks.

This was to ensure that players had enough contact with them before returning to the game after a month’s break.

“It was different when players were able to maintain their position during the lockdown,” Mitchell said.

Rugby Park will only be open to the public if Anwar Kargil is on Alert Level 1.

Attendance under Alert Level 2 will be severely limited, which will have a financial impact on Rugby Southland.

“Sports day income plays a role. It’s not huge, but it does play a role. But I think the most important thing is that it would be nice to bring the rugby community together to watch the game again.” can go.

Although the lockdown has been a positive disappointment for Southland Stiggs, they will be back to full fitness when the competition returns.

Lock Caleb Operahama is expected to be the only player still out due to injury.

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