Wallabies get 'all-clear' from NZ government
The New Zealand government has granted the Wallabies a border exemption for the Bledisloe Cup.
Dave Rennie’s Wallabies will leave their Queensland training camp in Queensland on Friday, arriving across the Tasman in time to beat the reinstatement of mandatory quarantine.
They will train in New Zealand for a week leading up to the series opener at Auckland’s Eden Park on August 7.
Sport Minister Grant Robertson said the matches were important to New Zealanders and the economy.
“This decision was not taken lightly,” Robertson said.
“Test rugby between the All Blacks and the Wallabies is keenly anticipated by New Zealanders.
“A Test match is estimated to be worth between NZ$17-20-million [AU$16-19-million] in spending for host regions, while the broadcast rights provide much-needed income for the sport, which positively affects all levels of the game.”
The border exemption was required after Jacinda Ardern’s government announced an eight-week Trans-Tasman bubble shutdown last week.
Regular NZ residents have been given until Saturday to return home and avoid being stranded in Australia.
The new tough border rules mean the Rugby Championship schedule will need to be tweaked.
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Game two of the Bledisloe Cup is likely to take place in New Zealand before the All Blacks head to Australia for a likely game three in Perth.
NZ Rugby have conceded the impossibility of hosting Argentina on home soil, meaning Ian Foster’s side are preparing to play Tests against Los Pumas in Australia.
Two Rugby Championship-concluding Tests against South Africa in New Zealand are in doubt, with the All Blacks eager to negotiate with the government to secure the matches.