All Blacks star Codie Taylor says staying in Australia for the duration of The Rugby Championship and facing the prospect of being stuck in quarantine during Christmas Day will “be tough”.
SANZAAR announced on Friday that Australia had won hosting rights to the annual Southern Hemisphere tournament between November and December following weeks of speculation that New Zealand stood as frontrunners to stage the competition.
New Zealand’s rejected bid came in spite of backing from SANZAAR and World Rugby, with the All Blacks instead set to host two Bledisloe Cup matches next month before travelling to Australia.
With The Rugby Championship set to last from November 7 to December 12, the All Blacks face the prospect of a two-week quarantine period upon their return to New Zealand.
As such, Ian Foster’s 35-man squad, many of whom have young families that they will be without throughout their stay in Australia, look set to spend Christmas Day in quarantine, something that Taylor says is a daunting prospect.
“I’m still working through it mentally, but there will be processes in place,” he said following Canterbury’s 43-29 win over North Harbour in Albany on Friday.
“The All Blacks environment is like a home.
“It’ll be tough being away from the family and kids, but people have to do it all over the work.
“You always want to play at home, even if it was behind closed doors with an empty crowd.
“With what’s going on, it’s what you have to do to get out on the paddock.”
It’s an assessment that Taylor’s All Blacks, Crusaders and Canterbury teammate George Bridge agrees with, but noted that players need to adapt in these pandemic-ridden times.
“We haven’t got the full details around times and dates, but that’s the way it is. It’s been a rough year and you just have to be adaptable.
“There was some chat about the Rugby Championship being played in New Zealand, but it’s good to see we will have a couple of test matches here.”
New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson stated earlier this week that NZR would support any All Blacks who opt against travelling to Australia for health or personal reasons.
“We are hugely supportive of our players – we know they have gone through an incredibly tough time this year.
“This challenge of what they are about to undertake is going to be significant and we will back them and their families in whatever way we need to ensure they are looked after.”
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