All Blacks could play in December as NZR explores all options

2020-05-09 20:00
Mark Robinson
Mark Robinson (Getty Images)

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) CEO Mark Robinson says there is still no clarity on the prospects for Test rugby in 2020, but said they will explore every avenue - even if it means the All Blacks would play deep into December.

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"We're factoring in any international, cross-border play for later in the year. It’s incredibly fluid and everything is on the table. Our feeling is we just need to make a start once we get the proper green light around Super Rugby and see what time and opportunities that gives us for any other rugby later in the year,” Robinson told New Zealand's website.

The NZR earlier in the week announced plans to start a five-team domestic competition named Super Rugby Aotearoa

This follows the New Zealand government's announcement that professional rugby and netball will resume at Covid-19 alert Level 2 which could come into effect on Monday.

Super Rugby Aotearoa will involve New Zealand's five franchises - the Blues, Chiefs, Hurricanes, Crusaders and Highlanders - and could star in Junes.

The five teams will play each other home and away over 10 weeks, with two matches every weekend. All matches will be played in closed stadiums.

Regarding talk of the Rugby Championship possibly being played at one venue, with Perth touted as the potential host city, Robinson confirmed that the possibilities are being explored at this point.

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"We'd love to play some form of international rugby. We've made no secret of the fact that’s where we derive the large share of our income from. It will be important later in the year if we can get some, and if not we've just got to keep working through plans we have in terms of responding to Covid-19 and making the best of the domestic series we have."

When probed on the latest in the year he would be prepared to put the All Blacks on the field, Robinson commented: "We've got a very open view on that and we're talking through a lot of different scenarios that potentially sees New Zealand rugby players playing into December."

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

Read more on:    all blacks  |  mark robinson  |  rugby


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