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Covid travel restrictions cause New Zealand to pull out of Australia and Springboks games

Australia head coach Dave Rennie believes that New Zealand have shown a lack of respect after they announced that they would not travel to Perth over the weekend ahead of the proposed third Bledisloe Cup Test on 28th August.


New Zealand Rugby (NZR) confirmed in a statement that both matches scheduled for the 25th September and 2nd October with world champions South Africa, have also been cancelled following government advice surrounding Corona Virus.


Rennie heavily criticized the lack of communication that was made with Rugby Australia before going public with the news of future matches being in doubt. “Bloody angry,” he told reporters after the announcement and expressed his disappointment by saying “I think it’s disappointing how it has been communicated. Our boys all found out through social media.


A statement from NZR added that the country’s women’s side will no longer host Australia for matches in Christchurch on 26th September and at Eden Park on 2nd October. 'The decision follows advice from government that the Springboks and Wallaroos would not be able to enter New Zealand to play the matches due to Covid-19 travel restrictions,' NZR said in its statement.


New Zealand this week went into a national lockdown after a case of the Covid-19 Delta strain, which spread from Australia, was detected.


The All Blacks managed to secure a win against Rennie’s men 57-22 last Saturday, having edged out their rivals 33-25 in the first encounter at the beginning of August.


Australia’s disappointment has elevated due to the fact that they had to quarantine when they travelled to New Zealand in October, and then went on to played two Bledisloe matches despite the coronavirus pandemic still going on.


NZR chief executive Mark Robinson insisted the decision not to travel to Perth at the weekend was due to “uncertainty” and that “once the team leaves our shores, they currently can’t return until 23rd November” with discussions taking place with Sanzaar over rescheduling the matches. Rennie added: “I feel like there’s only one of us doing what’s in the best interest of the game. “Last year, we went to New Zealand to ensure the games were played for the benefit of both countries. “We quarantined in Wellington for two weeks.


South Africa, who defeated Argentina in the Rugby Championship on Saturday, have offered to host the remaining fixtures in the tournament. Jurie Roux, chief executive at South Africa Rugby, said: “We have advised Sanzaar that we are ready and able to host the remainder of the competition in South Africa, pending our government’s approval. “But we are now well-versed in turning on rugby Tests within the prevailing Covid restrictions and have the venues and accommodation necessary. We just need the go-ahead.”


The Springboks and Pumas were due to fly to Australia on Sunday, but they have paused their flights while they await further news from Sanzaar.

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