NZR CEO Mark Robinson said the decision was made due to the inability to secure the team’s return home.
“We remain 100% committed to playing in the entire Fortinet Rugby Championship in 2021 and are working closely with SANZAAR to examine a range of options for rescheduling these important matches.”
In addition, the All Blacks were scheduled to play South Africa at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin on Saturday 25 September and at Eden Park in Auckland on Saturday 2 October.
New Zealand’s women’s rugby team, the Black Ferns, were due to face the Wallaroos – Australia’s women’s rugby team – in Christchurch on Sunday, September 26 and at Eden Park in a double match with the All Blacks .
But after government advice that the 2019 World Cup winners and the Wallaroos could not enter New Zealand to play the matches “due to COVID-19 travel restrictions,” the matches were canceled.
Robinson said every effort has been made to keep testing in New Zealand.
“However, after discussions with the government, it is clear that the travel restrictions of Covid-19 meant there was no way to get the South African teams and Wallaroos to New Zealand and we understand the importance of putting the health and safety of New Zealanders first. “
Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos criticized the lack of communication from his New Zealand counterparts, saying he was “angry”.
“I thought New Zealand rugby didn’t even have the respect to consult with RA about their decision, so it’s hugely disappointing.”
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