Bledisloe Tests set after NZ quarantine concessions

Wellington (AFP) –


New Zealand Rugby confirmed the All Blacks will host Australia for two Bledisloe Cup Tests next month after officials relaxed Covid-19 quarantine rules to ensure the series went ahead.

NZR said the Bledisloe Tests would take place in Wellington on Sunday, October 11, and Auckland on October 18.

"We're delighted to lock in the dates and venues for the two home matches against Australia and look forward to seeing the Bledisloe Cup go on the line next month," NZR chief Mark Robinson said.

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie had raised concerns that rules preventing his squad training together while undergoing two weeks' quarantine in New Zealand would leave them under-prepared for a clash against the All Blacks.

But NZR said health authorities had agreed to amend the rules so the full squad could train together four days into the quarantine period.

"This has been a complex and challenging puzzle to solve and we're grateful that both rugby organisations, together with our government, have come together to get these matches across the line," Robinson said.

Earlier, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said "everyone's pulling out all stops to make it work".

Rugby Australia praised the New Zealand government for being flexible.

"Dave and the team are incredibly excited about the prospect of playing in New Zealand," chief executive Rob Clarke said.