New Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has challenged New Zealand to be flexible with its quarantine measures that if unchanged would set the Wallabies up for failure in two Tests due to be played next month. This year’s revised Test calendar was flipped on its head on Friday when the Rugby Championship’s hosting rights went to Australian ahead of New Zealand.
But the current quarantine measures – attributed to the country losing out on the Rugby Championship – would require the Wallabies, already in strict biosecurity bubbles, to fly to New Zealand immediately after Saturday’s Super Rugby AU decider.
They would then be confined to their own rooms before a staged release to larger groups, leaving precious little time before a proposed October 10 opener.
Meanwhile the All Blacks – unbeaten at home against Australia since 2001 – would be free to train as normal, a situation Rennie said was unacceptable.
“Hopefully they’re still up for negotiation,” he said.
“Under those quarantine arrangements I can assure you we won’t be playing a Test in New Zealand that weekend.
“We’d have some young guys introducing themselves to some of our other Wallabies two weeks into our camp … we won’t be playing a Test under those sort of conditions.”
Rennie said an October 17 opener was still realistic though, admitting his time since coaching for the last time in Glasgow eight months ago had been extraordinary.
“Nothing’s been finalised which seems amazing seven days out (from potentially leaving on tour) …. it normally takes six months to organise this stuff,” he said.
“We’ve done four million zooms; I can’t wait to get together and get on the grass and build from there.
“We need to spend a few days in Australia before we get away.”
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