The New Zealand Government announced today that quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand has been paused for a period of eight weeks.
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said the Government’s latest announcement presented some obvious challenges.
The All Blacks are due to host two Bledisloe Cup Tests, with the Rugby Championship scheduled to be played primarily in New Zealand and Australia over the next two months.
“We know the uncertainty this creates is challenging for our fans, players and partners, but remain committed to finding a path forward and continuing to deliver world-class rugby in 2021.
“We are continuing to work closely with the New Zealand Government to explore the option of bringing Australia across the Tasman for the two Bledisloe Cup Tests.
“As we have throughout the Covid-19 pandemic our decisions will continue be guided by the advice of relevant Government and health authorities with the health and safety of our people at the forefront of any decisions. It’s important we evaluate all of our options before finalising any plans.”
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Officer Andy Marinos said: “We are working closely with New Zealand Rugby and the various Governments through different scenarios now. Rugby Australia’s position has always been to prioritise the health and safety of its players, staff and fans, and today’s announcement only reinforces that. We want to thank the Australian Government as well as the New Zealand Government for their support so far, as we aim for a positive outcome in the coming days.
“The Wallabies team have been in a secure bubble since the conclusion of the France Series, with the squad assembled on the Gold Coast. The players are regularly tested for Covid-19 and have maintained strict bio-security protocols as recommended by the Return To Play Committee and the relevant health authorities,” Marinos said.
SANZAAR along with its member national unions – NZR, RA, South Africa Rugby and Argentina Rugby Union – will announce any potential and necessary changes to the tournament schedule in due course.
NZR and RA will also continue to work through scenarios regarding the Wallaroos tour to New Zealand against the Black Ferns, and any possible travel implications.