New Zealand and Australian rugby chiefs are currently evaluating their options after the New Zealand government’s decision to pause the trans-Tasman travel bubble.
Quarantine-free travel had been allowed between Australia and New Zealand since the 19th of December, but that has been ceased following a rise in covid cases in the Australian states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.
The quarantine-free travel bubble will be paused for a period of at least eight weeks, which puts next month’s Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship games in doubt.
📢 UPDATE | Get the latest update from @NZRugby on the status of the Bledisloe Cup following the decision to pause the trans-Tasman travel bubble today.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) July 23, 2021
Upcoming All Blacks vs Wallabies games in doubt.
The All Blacks and the Wallabies are due to play one another at Eden Park in Auckland in the first Bledisloe Cup match on the 7th of August before they play again in the Rugby Championship in Perth two weeks later.
Without an exemption from the New Zealand government, it would be impossible for those games, and further Rugby Championship fixtures, to be held at their planned venues as people arriving in New Zealand will have to quarantine for 14 days.
The Rugby Championship, which also includes Argentina and South Africa, is currently set to take place primarily in Australia and New Zealand.
‘We remain committed to finding a path forward.’
NZR Chief executive Mark Robinson acknowledged that the changes would present challenges for the All Blacks’ upcoming games but said that they would still explore the viability of bringing the Wallabies to New Zealand.
“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,” Robinson said.
“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 to 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 CEO Andy Marinos revealed that the Wallabies have been in a secure bio-bubble since their test series against France, and are currently staying on the Gold Coast in Queensland, which has been so far largely unaffected by the increase in covid cases in the country in recent times.