Fri 11 Sep 2020 | 10:54

Rugby bosses respond to NZ PM's 'SANZAAR politics' comment

Rugby bosses respond to NZ PM's 'SANZAAR politics' comment
Fri 11 Sep 2020 | 10:54
Rugby bosses respond to NZ PM's 'SANZAAR politics' comment
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NEWS: SANZAAR boss Andy Marinos has responded to comments made by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that “politics” was behind the decision to give the Rugby Championship hosting rights to Australia.

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Before the official announcement on Friday, it was reported by the NZ Herald that the Rugby Championship, which was originally destined for New Zealand, was instead going to be hosted in Australia after a meeting by SANZAAR representatives.

Ardern was not pleased with the developments and she expressed it in a press conference before the tournament announcement was made. The Prime Minister blamed “SANZAAR politics”.

“We worked very hard with health and tournament workers to make it work.

“If this decision doesn’t go our way, I’d say it would be a result of SANZAAR politics more than anything else,” she said.

In an interview with Newstalk ZB, Marinos denied that “politics” played a role in the final decision and explained that it was Australia’s favourable quarantine regulations that gave them the go-ahead.

“I have no idea, just a very interesting reflection point she’s got there. [Politics weren’t involved] in this decision at all, and all four parties were at the table. I can’t stress enough the whole emphasis right from the beginning – we had to make sure it ticked the box and it was commercially viable and sustainable,” Marinos said.

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“Secondly our teams would be able to come into a quarantine regime that would enable them to prepare and get themselves in the best possible shape.”

New Zealand Rugby boss Mark Robinson was also baffled by Ardern’s comments.

“No I don’t understand it [Ardern’s comments], and it’s certainly not the case. There’s a lot of speculation going around.

“We are very clear, SANZAAR have been very clear in their statement.

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“We gave it our absolute best because we know the significant impact it would have made in this country. We know that having six or so big match days around the country, as well as giving the nation a lift, quite apart from the economic impact that would have had, it was something that was dear to us all.”

Source: NZ Herald & Newstalk ZB

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