All Blacks cancel Perth trip as NZR calls off remaining home tests
The All Blacks were initially scheduled to fly to Perth on Sunday in preparation for the third Bledisloe Cup clash at Optus Stadium, which also doubled as a Rugby Championship fixture.
But, with New Zealand in lockdown and the complexities of getting a team to Perth with enough time to quarantine before the match, NZR announced the All Blacks won’t be sent to Perth.
NZR also announced that the All Blacks’ two home tests against South Africa won’t be played in New Zealand.
The news comes as a devastating blow given the two sides were scheduled to play their 100th test at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium in what would have been a celebration of 100 years of rivalry between the countries.
Instead, that test, along with other All Blacks fixtures against the Springboks and Los Pumas, look destined to be played abroad.
“Without complete certainty on the team’s next movements around the Rugby Championship we felt it was prudent for the team to stay put in New Zealand until SANZAAR have announced the full tournament schedule,” NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said.
“Once the team leaves our shores, they currently can’t return until November 23 post their Northern Tour, so given the uncertainty, it makes sense to pause and get more clarity on these fixtures.
“We remain 100 per cent committed to playing in the entire Rugby Championship in 2021 and are working closely with SANZAAR to look at a range of options to reschedule these important matches.”
The announcement comes after RugbyPass revealed plans are being made by SANZAAR to stage the Rugby Championship in the United Kingdom and Europe.
Other media reports suggest the third Bledisloe Cup test could be rescheduled for October 9 and staged at Wembley Stadium, while other potential venues being considered to host the Rugby Championship reportedly include South Africa and Queensland.
– With AAP
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