Ian Foster dismissed New Zealand media reports that suggested some of his players were hesitant to embark on the Rugby Championship for family reasons. Sanzaar’s decision to host Australia for the tournament brought a complication for the All Blacks as they will have an unusual and prolonged sojourn across the Tasman Sea.
The Rugby Championship will be played from November 7 to December 12. If the All Blacks fly back to New Zealand, they will have to comply with the mandatory 14-day quarantine upon arrival in their country, which implies that they could only join their families on December 27, after Christmas has been consummated.
Reports in New Zealand over the weekend suggested that Beauden Barrett, whose wife is expecting a baby at the end of the month, and Richie Mo’unga and TJ Perenara, who recently became parents for the first time, would be in doubt about playing the tournament, something that coach Ian Foster emphatically denied.
Speaking to the media on Monday, All Blacks coach Foster said that several of their star players may not be available for RCH and also confirmed that work was underway to close the tournament on December 5 or 6. The proposed new ending for the tournament would allow players to be back with their families before December 19.
“The way they reported the news was not correct,” said Foster, adding annoyed by the rumor that “they were quoting statements from players with whom they never spoke. I don’t understand how they can post that kind of thing. There were many media that said we were not going to be there for Christmas. We are working on that and we are collecting more information, we are talking to the players one by one and analyzing their situations.
“Every player is a little bit different. But I did not hear any player say that he would not go to play the tournament. What I did hear is that some players have some questions to ask, something that is natural and is completely different, ”the coach told the media in his country.
Regarding the upcoming Bledisloe Cup matches against the Wallabies, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday that the details of the quarantine were changed to allow the Australian team to begin training three days after their arrival. to New Zealand. Based on this, Foster is confident that the Wallabies would agree to travel to New Zealand, as they would now have a 13-day preparation period before the first test.
“I hope they get on the plane and come play with us that weekend (October 13),” Foster said of the Australians and compared both situations: “They will have nine full days of training in isolation, then another four full days. , which effectively gives them 13 full days. That will be equal to the preparation time of the All Blacks with a concentration of three days, another of four days and then there will be 6 days until the game is played ”.