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Measles epidemic prompts cancellation of round one of Women’s Oceania Rugby Championships

Oceania Rugby logo
Source: Oceania Rugby

Suva, FIJI — On Sunday 17 November, a member of the Tonga Women’s XV team was reported to the Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services and Oceania Rugby to have suspected symptoms of measles.

In light of the widespread outbreak of measles in the region – Samoa, Tonga, Australia, New Zealand and now Fiji have recorded significant cases.

As a consequence, consultations between the Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services, and Oceania Rugby on Sunday 17 November, has led to the decision to cancel the second game of Round One today, between: Australia A and Tonga Women’s XVs at 1.00pm (Fiji Time) on Monday 18 November to prevent any possible risks.

Oceania Rugby Tournament Management and Medical Officials have been advised by the Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services to adhere to the Fiji Public Health Act, and to follow the required Testing and Quarantine Processes to prevent any widespread contamination.

An updated Draw for Round 2 the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championships will be confirmed and released on Monday 18 November 2019 following the results of the initial blood tests done on Sunday.

Considering the 2019 Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship is a Rugby World Cup Qualification tournament, ensuring the safety and welfare of all players is paramount.

As a sport, the rugby family collaboratively prioritizes player welfare at all levels.

Oceania Rugby in alignment with World Rugby continues to prioritize and ensure that any issues pertaining to medical and injury issues are flagged to prevent health risks to players and officials.


* Samoa declared a state of emergency this weekend, closing all schools and cracking down on public gatherings, after several deaths linked to a measles outbreak that has spread across the Pacific islands.

* The quarantine and testing process will take 72 hours following the initial test which may determine Tonga’s Women’s XV Round Two match against Samoa on Friday 22 November 2019

* The Match between Australia and Tonga will therefore be considered a draw, with both teams awarded two (2) competition points each.