Bledisloe postponed, All Blacks and Black Ferns home Tests cancelled

By Will Trafford

New Zealand Rugby says the All Blacks’ Fortinet Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa and the Black Ferns’ O’Reilly Cup Tests against the Wallaroos won’t be played in Aotearoa.

NZR says the Government denied the teams quarantine-free travel into the country.

CEO Mark Robinson said every effort had been made to keep the Tests in New Zealand.

“We share the disappointment of our fans, players and other stakeholders… We understand the importance of putting the health and safety of New Zealanders first." he said.

NZR also confirmed it won't send the All Blacks to Perth this weekend for the third Bledisloe Cup Test given ‘uncertainty over The Rugby Championship schedule’.

Bledisloe three was already in doubt after the West Australian government introduced quarantine rules for New Zealanders arriving in the wake of Aotearoa's level 4 lockdown.

The All Blacks were scheduled to play the Wallabies next Saturday August 28th in Perth and  South Africa in Dunedin on September 25th, and in Auckland on Saturday 2 October.

The Black Ferns were scheduled to play the Wallaroos in Christchurch, on Sunday September 26th and at Eden Park as part of a double header with the All Blacks.

Ticket holders for the matches are entitled to a full refund.

Robinson said his decision not to send the All Blacks to Perth was the right one.

“Once the team leaves our shores, they currently can’t return until November 23 post their Northern Tour, so given the uncertainty [around the Rugby Championship Schedule], it makes sense to pause and get more clarity on these fixtures.

SANZAAR will make announcements around the Rugby Championship schedule in ‘due course’.

“We remain 100 percent committed to playing in the entire Fortinet Rugby Championship in 2021 and are working closely with SANZAAR to look at a range of options to reschedule these important matches.” Robinson said.