Hurricanes Poua were due to face the Blues at FMG Stadium Waikato at 3.35pm on Thursday, but instead share the competition points with the match being cancelled.
Chiefs Manawa and Matatū, who played a pre-season fixture on Saturday, will face each other again in the official start of the competition on Thursday evening.
New Zealand Rugby General Manager of Professional Rugby and Performance Chris Lendrum said while it was tough news it was the only option.
“This is obviously not how we wanted to see the opening day of Sky Super Rugby Aupiki play out, but player wellbeing is the number one priority so while it was a tough decision for the Hurricanes, it was a necessary one.
"Our thoughts and support are with the Poua players and management in this tough time” said Lendrum.
Hurricanes CEO Avan Lee commented; “So much hard work gone into Super Rugby Aupiki. We are devastated that the team can’t take to the field for Round 1, but we simply didn’t have enough players to make up our 23. This is the reality and nature of COVID.”
“Player wellbeing is paramount at this point. Those who are not isolating are continuing with their training and are including the isolating players in Zoom activities to keep everyone connected and raring to go.”
Round One – Thursday 10 March – FMG Stadium Waikato
Hurricanes Poua v Blues, 3.35pm – MATCH CANCELLED
Chiefs Manawa v Matatū, 7.05pm (Live on Sky Sport 1 & delayed on Prime)
Round Two – Tuesday 15 March – FMG Stadium Waikato
Chiefs Manawa v Hurricanes Poua, 3.35pm (Live on Sky Sport 1 & Prime)
Blues v Matatū, 7.05pm (Live on Sky Sport 1 & delayed on Prime)
Round Three – Sunday 20 March – FMG Stadium Waikato
Matatū v Hurricanes Poua, 5.05pm (Live on Sky Sport 1 & delayed on Prime)
Blues v Chiefs Manawa, 7.35pm (Live on Sky Sport 1 & Prime)