REPORT: NZ's Test schedule revealed
NEWS: New Zealand will have to make do with matches against Italy and Fiji during their July Test series in 2021.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the All Blacks will play two Tests against the Italians and one against Fiji, while arch-rivals South Africa are set to face the British and Irish Lions during the same period.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic could still affect that schedule like it did earlier this year when the July international window was postponed.
The All Blacks were set to face Wales and Scotland in July. South Africa were also due to face the Scottish and a one-off Test against Georgia.
The 2020 Rugby Championship is also in doubt.
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All Blacks coach Ian Foster revealed that the North-South match was given the go-ahead after a few smaller nations turned down the offer to play the All Blacks between the end of Super Rugby Aotearoa and the start of the NZ’s National Provincial Championship
“We had a window of time between Super Rugby Aotearoa and Mitre 10 Cup. Normally we would try to play a test match – potentially against a Tier Two country. There was no Tier Two country that wanted to play us,” Foster told Martin Devlin on Newstalk ZB.
“We put an invite out to a few but clearly a lot of countries aren’t in a situation or prepared to come over here and play at the moment, and we fully understand that.”
Foster added: “We lost three Test matches; with that we lose a lot of revenue that helps fuel the game.”
Source: New Zealand Herald