No threat to Barbarians match from RFU

Getty Images     23 Mar 2017     Getty Images

Talking from New Zealand Rugby Headquarters, Tew said that the match against the Barbarians is the team’s first preference to begin the Northern tour.


“A clash against the Barbarians will be a great way to honour the 125th anniversary of New Zealand Rugby and kick off what will be a very tough tour.

“Given the All Blacks have three very competitive Lions Tests ahead of them, followed by home and away Tests against Argentina, Australia and South Africa, then November Tests against France, Scotland and Wales, another big game was not our preference,” Tew said.

Recent reports that the RFU was attempting to block the All Blacks fixture against the Barbarians at Twickenham were denied by Tew.

“Any criticism of the RFU for approving or not approving games is completely unwarranted. I have spoken with Ian Ritchie (RFU CEO) and any questioning of his integrity in this matter is completely unfair.”

Tew said the fixture against the Barbarians is still to seek approval from World Rugby, but would be a great chance for the All Blacks to take on a selection of the world’s best players.

With the All Blacks next scheduled to face England during the November 2018 Northern tour, Tew said the anticipation will keep building.

“From a rugby point of view, people are looking forward to an All Blacks-England clash and when we do play them in 2018 it is going to be huge.”