Game cancelled as measles hits Oceania Rugby Champs
The measles epidemic across the Pacific has forced the cancellation of one of the opening games of the Oceania Rugby Women's Championship.
Tonga were scheduled to play Australia A on Monday afternoon in Fiji, however the game was cancelled when a member of the Tongan team was reported to the Fiji Ministry of Health & Medical Services and Oceania Rugby on Sunday with suspected symptoms of measles.
Samoa's opening match against Papua New Guinea on Monday has been rescheduled to 2:30 pm Samoan time, and their round two match against Tonga on Friday may not go ahead.
Oceania Rugby said an updated round two draw will be confirmed and released on Monday, following the results of initial blood tests done on Sunday.
"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."
That process takes 72 hours following the initial test.
The cancellation means Australia A vs Tonga is considered a draw, with both teams awarded two competition points.
To date there are 716 suspected cases of measles in Samoa with 48 confirmed. The Samoan Ministry of Health has announced six measles-related deaths so far, with all but one of the victims under the age of two. Forty percent of cases have required hospitalisation, and the Intensive Care Unit is currently operating above capacity.
Tonga had 251 either confirmed or suspected cases as of November 12th, while Fiji had four confirmed cases as of November 16th.
Updated Oceania Rugby Women's Championship Round One draw for Monday 18th November (Samoan time):
2:30pm Manusina v ANZ Papua New Guinea Palais
5:00pm Fijiana v Black Ferns Development XV