The announcement on Friday that the Rugby Championship will be played in Australia does not stop hurting across the Tasman Sea and some New Zealand media generate controversy by stating that this year several All Blacks decide not to go for family reasons. According to Stuff, those in black will find themselves with the same dilemma as Warriors of rugby league and Wellington Phoenix of soccer, “having to be away from their families and in quarantine in both countries.”
All All Blacks players and staff are used to being away from their families and loved ones at the end of each year to tour Europe. But for the Rugby Championship there are additional complications, as players must be quarantined in Australia for 14 days upon arrival and then do the same when they return to New Zealand.
Hannah, the wife of one of the team’s stars, Beauden Barrett, is expecting a baby girl at the end of the month, while Richie Mo’unga and TJ Perenara recently became parents for the first time. “We want to ensure that whoever represents the All Blacks does so in a safe environment where they feel happy and comfortable,” NZ Rugby CEO Mark Robinson said Friday.
“We are very supportive of our players,” Robinson said, “and we know they have been through an incredibly difficult time this year. This challenge of what they are about to undertake will be significant and we will support them and their families. If that means they cannot go or travel, we will listen and support you “.
Sanzaar announced on Friday that the RC will run from November 7 to December 12. If that was the case and the All Blacks flew back to New Zealand on December 13, they would be out of quarantine on December 27, so everyone would miss Christmas with their families. This is clearly not an ideal situation and Robinson said they are working on a solution for that.
“We know that in Australia there are a lot of teams that have been away from their homes for some time. Our guys will be on the road for nine to ten weeks so we are very aware of where they will be at Christmas,” Robinson said. Another issue that worries the Kiwis is that although the dates for the Rugby Championship were announced, nothing has been said about the two games for the Bledisloe Cup that will be played in New Zealand prior to the tournament.
Working the other way around, if the competition that brings together those selected from the Southern Hemisphere begins on November 7, the All Blacks, Los Pumas and Springboks must be in Australia at least two and a half weeks before, which would be around October 21. That could mean that the Bledisloe Cup matches will take place on October 10 and 17, probably in Auckland and Wellington, to maximize their financial returns.
This would mean that the Wallabies would have to be in New Zealand to begin their 14-day isolation period around September 23. The final of the Super Rugby Australia competition is on September 19, so for now, there is plenty of time. However, any possibility of bringing the Rugby Championship forward one week is ruled out. So the only way the All Blacks can get back to their families in time for Christmas is if the tournament runs for five weeks, which would mean two games on weekdays, which would mean three games in eight days.
There are also the psychological issues to deal with for the All Blacks. On previous tours, whenever a player has experienced a family emergency, they have been able to get on a plane and be back in New Zealand 24 hours later. But if that happens during the Rugby Championship, the player will have to spend two weeks in quarantine before returning home.
In the New Zealand Laegue Rugby Warriors, player Leivaha Pulu’s wife was pregnant and had a car accident in Auckland while he was with the team in Australia. The player left the Warriors camp immediately, but had to spend 14 days in an isolation facility before reuniting with his partner.
With the All Blacks absent for 10 weeks, some players, especially those with young children, may want their families to accompany them to Australia. But as the Warriors discovered, Australia’s immigration controls will allow players to enter the country, but it will not be the same for the families that accompany them. There are certainly a lot of negotiations to be done over the next few weeks, says Stuff, adding that “it could be the case that one or two All Blacks decide to step aside.”