Cape Town - New Zealand rugby chief executive Steve Tew
believes the country is "absolutely" ready for a gay player to represent
the All Blacks.
Tew spoke on Tuesday after New Zealand's major sporting
bodies had gathered to devise a new system to promote diversity across the
Referencing "a great level of sexual diversity" in
the New Zealand women’s and women's sevens sides, along with referee Nigel
Owens taking charge of last year's Rugby World Cup final, Tew added that when
the time comes New Zealand would be "absolutely" ready to embrace a
gay All Black.
"No one has yet said they're an All Black and gay, one
day that will happen and I would hope that New Zealand is more than ready, in
fact is welcoming of it" Tew told Newshub.
"Our job is to nurture a team culture and environment
where everybody can come in and be the best possible athlete and person they
Former Wales and British and Irish Lions captain Gareth
Thomas became the first openly gay professional rugby union player in 2009, while
England Sevens player Sam Stanley was the first English player to do so last