Published: Wed, September 16, 2020
Sport | By

Ardern confirms quarantine rule change for Bledisloe Cup

Ardern confirms quarantine rule change for Bledisloe Cup

"This is all new to everyone, taking players away for nine weeks where you can't get's a big chunk of time and we're just working it through with players".

She said Australia's Wallabies were a lower Covid-19 risk than the South African and Argentine players involved in the four-nation Rugby Championship.

"I read that report yesterday and it was pretty frustrating that those headlines came out without any facts behind it", Foster said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during a news conference prior to the anniversary of the mosque attacks that took place the prior year in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 13, 2020.

SMH writer Tom Decent told Heather du Plessis-Allan that Rugby Australia's position has always been playing the games on the 17th and 24th, while New Zealand wants them to play on the 10th and 18th.

But Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said the current strict quarantine conditions were unacceptable for his team to prepare properly before the opening Test in Wellington on Sunday, October 11. After a second negative test, they would be able to expand the bubble to 25 from days eight to 14.

Following news Australia will now host a six-week Rugby Championship in November and December, NZ rugby officials are aiming to sneak in two Bledisloe matches in New Zealand beforehand.

Asked if the Bledisloe fixtures could also be moved to Australia, Ardern replied: "I don't think that's going to be necessary".

Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby are at a stalemate over a Bledisloe Cup scheduling stand-off as Wallabies coach Dave Rennie threatened to give into the All Blacks' demands.

FitzSimons said New Zealand rugby would weaken the further the code slipped in Australia, with the All Blacks to ultimately suffer if the New Zealand teams keep thumping Aussie rivals at both Test and provincial level.

She believed they were still coming: "There's no reason for them not to".

"Quarantine shouldn't be an issue".

This latest dispute originates from NZR's insistence to play the first Bledisloe Cup Test on 10 October - just five days after the Wallabies' quarantine period would end.

Foster said conversations with players were continuing but none had said they wouldn't go to Australia for the tournament.

"He has come out strong, based on information about the quarantine and we listened to that, " Foster told Newstalk ZB.

"They'll be given a reasonable amount of time to mull over it and talk it through to those close to them".

"Now I think we've achieved that, when you look an equitable situation which is about giving two teams a fair chance at preparing".

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