Waikato to stage NPC final in Hamilton with move to alert level two

Waikato will host the NPC Premiership final against Tasman at their FMG Stadium Waikato home in Hamilton on Saturday.

With the government announcing parts of the Waikato region will move down to alert level 2 from midnight Tuesday, New Zealand Rugby have confirmed Hamilton will host the decider (7.05pm kickoff).

The Waikato team relocated to Bay of Plenty earlier in the season due to Covid-19 restrictions in the Waikato region and will return to Hamilton ahead of the final.

The game will operate under Ministry of Health alert level 2 guidelines with limited bubbles allocated by the Waikato Rugby Union.

Steve Lancaster general manager of community rugby said: “All teams have been impacted this season with varying levels of uncertainty and challenges.

“The Waikato squad has spent the past six weeks away from home, so it is great they’re able to return to their home ground for the Bunnings Warehouse NPC premiership final.”

Waikato booked their spot in the final after edging Canterbury 17-14 in the semifinal in the wet at Rotorua on Saturday.

Tasman knocked over top seeds Hawke's Bay 33-27 in the other semifinal and will have an opportunity to achieve a rare three-peat, having beaten Auckland and Wellington in finals the last two seasons.