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NZR boss defends Bledisloe no-show in face of Australia’s ’emotion’

NZR boss defends Bledisloe no-show in face of Australia’s ’emotion’

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New Zealand rugby chief Mark Robinson responded to Australia’s anger over the decision not to send the All Blacks to Perth for Bledisloe 3, saying NZR was “comfortable” with the course of events and making a sharp reference to the “emotion” of their rivals.

Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos accused Robinson of catching him off guard, claiming he spoke to him on the phone just before NZR issued a statement canceling their visit and Robinson did not mention the plans .

“It is incredibly disappointing to be informed of this decision via the media, despite having a conversation with the CEO moments before and there is no mention that this was the intention,” Marinos said in a statement.

Andy Marinos, CEO of Rugby Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe / Getty Images)

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was also furious, saying he was “angry” at the NZR decision and adding that his players found out the game was postponed via social media.

Rennie’s anger was added to Rennie’s anger that Australia had made changes to their travel and match schedules in recent weeks to allow New Zealand to host back-to-back Bledisloe Tests at Eden Park.

It was reported that New Zealand gave Australia a noon deadline for a decision on the Perth test and subsequent rounds of the Rugby Championship, and released the statement after RA requested an extension.

The New Zealand Herald on Saturday cited Robinson as sticking to his guns.

“We do not accept that this is a unilateral decision,” said Robinson.

“We communicated throughout the week with SANZAAR and Rugby Australia and made it clear to them the risks and concerns we had.

“We understand the emotion that comes with it, but we’re really comfortable with the rationale we put behind the decision and we’re confident that we stand behind our people.

“We can understand Rugby Australia’s frustration and disappointment that we can’t travel tomorrow night. We have a lot of sympathy for them and the impact that has on the game in Perth next weekend.

“We are absolutely determined to play this game at some point and we will work as hard as we can to make it happen with them.

“Getting into a lot of speculation about who said what when doesn’t really matter at the moment. It doesn’t help, doesn’t help us move forward. We are focused on finding a solution to what balances our need to take care of our people with our commitment to wanting to move this tournament forward.

A number of options have been raised for Bledisloe’s third game, most notably in Perth on September 4, Queensland or Europe with matches in France and Great Britain.

The NZ Herald reports that there is a possibility that the third Bledisloe will be played on October 9 at Wembley.

“These are options that are being seriously considered,” Robinson told the NZ Herald of the potential to play in Europe.

“When you look at the world right now, there is a lot going on around sports and entertainment that is different from what we used to think of as normal in the past. This is just another example of this.

South Africa have also offered to host the remainder of the tournament.

“We have informed SANZAAR that we are ready and able to host the rest of the competition in South Africa, pending approval from our government,” said SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux.

“But we now know how to activate rugby tests within the framework of the COVID restrictions in force and have the necessary sites and accommodation. We just need the green light.

“We would love to stay here, but we’ll play anywhere,” added Springboks captain Siya Kolisi ahead of their game against Argentina.

“There are two teams [South Africa and Argentina] already here.

Assistant coach Mzwandile Stick added that the success of the Lions’ recent tour shows South Africa’s value as a host.

“If you look at the facilities that we have in our country, these are very good stadiums to host any type of event,” said Stick.

“We have had some great events already and there has been the success of the British and Irish Lions tour when all the [Test] matches were played in Cape Town.

“It’s a shame that our supporters can’t really enjoy the matches in the stadiums, but we’re having a difficult time.

“I think we have what it takes if this is South Africa.”




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