Rugby Australia (RA) has this afternoon been made aware of New Zealand Rugby’s unilateral decision to suspend the All Blacks’ flight to Perth ahead of the scheduled eToro Rugby Championship match on August 28, despite positive discussions with all relevant stakeholders and a SANZAR call scheduled for later today.
Rugby Australia is continuing to work with its SANZAAR joint venture partners regarding the schedule for the Rugby Championship this year.
Rugby Australia will work through alternative dates for the Bledisloe Cup in Perth in 2021 and will advise as soon as possible. Should an alternative date be available, a ticket transfer will be offered.
New Zealand Rugby have also confirmed their decision to cancel the two-match series against the Buildcorp Wallaroos in New Zealand.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive Andy Marinos said: “It’s incredibly disappointing to be informed of this decision via the media, despite having a conversation with the CEO moments before and there no mention that this was the intention.
“Despite this outcome, I am confident we will find a solution for the whole Rugby Championship in what continues to be a very challenging environment in which to work.
“We have been engaging in positive discussions with both teams as well as Government partners and were confident we were close to finding a solution.
“Thank you to the West Australian Government and the staff at Optus Stadium as well as Nine, Cadbury, eToro and the Rugby Australia partners for their continued engagement and flexibility to work with us to find a solution in these difficult times.
“I would also like to thank the Wallaby team and management for their continued sacrifice, compromise and willingness to ensure Test matches get played. The team has been in camp since the end of June and jumped on a plane at the end of July to go to New Zealand with no certainty as to what the Test schedule will look like, or when they would be home.
“The news of the cancellation of the O’Reilly Cup Tests is equally as disappointing for our Wallaroos, who were ready to play their first Test of the year.
“We will continue to leave no stone unturned in finding an option for our Wallaroos as well as the Perth Test.
“Australia has proven its ability to host International Rugby in the current climate, and it is something we will continue to work towards.”