SANZAAR and All Blacks standoff continues
SPOTLIGHT: All Blacks coach Ian Foster has urged SANZAAR to adjust Rugby Championship’s schedule and allow his team to spend Christmas with family rather than in quarantine in New Zealand.
The All Blacks are scheduled to play Australia in Sydney on December 12 and would have to spend two weeks in isolation when they return home as part of Covid-19 protocols.
The Rugby Championship schedule has left Foster “bitterly disappointed”, however, the coach is hopeful a resolution can be reached with New Zealand’s SANZAAR partners in the coming days, the New Zealand Herald reported.
Foster fronted the New Zealand media on Tuesday for the first time since SANZAAR released the Rugby Championship draw.
Test match footy is coming BACK!
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) September 28, 2020
“There was a deal based on [December] 5th we feel SANZAAR has reneged on that so we’ve put some solutions forward and we’re waiting on that. We have to fix it,” Foster told the New Zealand Herald.
“There’s been set expectations and they haven’t been delivered on so that’s up to the game and SANZAAR to sort out in the next few days.
“We’ve got to sort out this little hiccup and get on with it. Today would be great, but we’ll accept it tomorrow.”
Asked if the All Blacks were prepared to boycott the final Rugby Championship Test against the Wallabies on December 12 to avoid having to quarantine through Christmas, Foster said: “I don’t want to talk about that now.
“That’s a headline I don’t want to put out there but we’re bitterly disappointed that what was proposed got changed.
“We’re not basing on any schedule now because the schedule that’s been proposed is not one we agreed or accepted.
“This is not about a Christmas issue. It’s about players that have been playing and preparing to play through Covid and a whole lot of situations for a long, long time. At some point we’ve got to draw a line in the sand and say ‘that’s enough’.”
Foster would not go into specifics on alternative solutions but it essentially involves the prospect of moving the final All Blacks and Wallabies test forward, while allowing the Springboks and Los Pumas to play on December 12.
“I don’t think that’s going to be helpful. At the end of the day, there was a good solution at the start – six tests in five weeks was achievable. South Africa and Argentina could play six in six weeks; it fitted a time zone. We’ve come up with a couple of ideas around that.
“There’s a whole lot of things that could happen but let’s not dwell on that. We think there’s a good attitude to fix this up and it needs fixing.”
Source: NZHerald & Rugbypass