More sport in doubt after NZ virus action

Oliver Caffrey and Daniel Gilhooly

New Zealand professional sport is in a state of turmoil and their teams' involvement in Australian competitions is precarious after the unveiling of border restrictions to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

The NRL, A-League and Super Rugby seasons might all be forced into shutdowns after the New Zealand government's announcement that every person arriving in the country must be isolated for a fortnight.

New Zealanders have also been advised to avoid all non-essential travel, with the drastic measures to stay in place for at least the next 16 days.

The first victims were the Black Caps cricket team, whose players rushed home before the restrictions kicked in at midnight (NZT) Sunday.

The Kiwis trailed the three-match Chappell-Hadlee series 1-0 after losing the first match on Friday at an empty SCG.

A trans-Tasman Twenty20 series, scheduled for later this month in New Zealand, has also been scrapped.

The Warriors, in Newcastle after Saturday's opening-round NRL loss to the Knights, are on tenterhooks.

NRL and ARL Commission officials will make an announcement on Sunday morning after another meeting to reveal latest developments on the fate of the competition.

AAP understands a proposition has been made for the Warriors to stay on and play all of their games in Australia until the border restrictions are loosened.

It is believed players' opinions have been canvassed. Many of them have young families in Auckland and might be reluctant to stay offshore indefinitely.

The Warriors were to host Canberra next Saturday at Eden Park, as part of a dual-code double-header, alongside a Blues-Brumbies Super Rugby match.

Blues chief executive Andrew Hore told journalists the event was highly unlikely to go ahead and that Super Rugby faced an uncertain short-term future across all countries because of its travel-heavy component.

"People are having to take stock. We've looked at all the permutations that could occur and we have to do the right thing and make sure we set an example for the nation," Hore said.

Via a statement, governing body SANZAAR said it was not in a position to comment on the impact of New Zealand's measures to the Super Rugby season until its executive committee met.

The Dunedin-based Highlanders are in Buenos Aires preparing for Sunday morning's game with the Jaguares and will not be back in time to avoid the mandatory self-isolation.

In the A-League, Wellington issued a short statement saying it would be "impossible" to host A-League games beyond Sunday's match against Melbourne Victory, which would go ahead as scheduled.

All people who arrive in New Zealand from Sunday night - including returning Kiwis - will need to adhere to the measures.

"New Zealand will have the widest-ranging and toughest border restrictions of anyone in the world," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

It comes a day after the Australian Formula One Grand Prix was cancelled when a McLaren team member tested positive for coronavirus.

The AFL season is scheduled to start on Thursday night at the MCG without fans attending - the same scenario for the AFLW.

The NBL's grand final series between Sydney and Perth will continue, with game three on Sunday to be held without spectators.

Major sports around the world, including the NBA and EPL, have already postponed their seasons because of coronavirus.