Wellington (AFP)

The Rugby Championship threatened?

The New Zealand team are considering boycotting the end of the competition scheduled in Australia, due to a possible quarantine during the Christmas period, while South Africa questions its participation.

The All Blacks are scheduled to participate from November 7 in the Rugby Championship, which each year brings together the four major rugby nations of the southern hemisphere.

Its organization has been attributed to Australia, which overtook New Zealand, however initially expected to organize the tournament.

The dispute relates to the December 12 match that the New Zealanders must play against the Wallabies.

Indeed, with the New Zealand government having imposed a strict two-week quarantine on all arrivals from abroad, playing such a match in Australia on that date would mean that team members would find themselves isolated from their families. at Christmas, even though they flew back to New Zealand right after the game.

"We reject this schedule and are disappointed with such an announcement," said Mark Robinson, general manager of NZR, adding that at the base it had been agreed that this meeting be played on December 5, which would have allowed the Blacks to finish their quarantine before Christmas.

Asked if the All Blacks could boycott this meeting, Mr. Robinson replied that it was still "too early to decide on the solutions or the exact consequences for the moment".

"We will take a few days to continue working with all parties concerned."

For its part, Rugby Australia said it was ready to compress the six days of the competition into a period of five weeks instead of six, but this possibility was rejected by the other participants, South Africa and Argentina. , who fear it will cause injury to their team.

The official of Sanzaar, the governing body of the southern hemisphere, for his part admitted that the date of December 12 could be a problem for the All Blacks.

But "we have already exhausted all other possible solutions," said Andy Marinos, adding that he hoped New Zealand authorities could change the quarantine rules for the New Zealand team.

In addition, a doubt also hangs over the participation of South Africa in the Rugby Championship, first because of a travel ban imposed by the government on teams competing abroad, but also because the coach Jacques Nienaber wants the players to play six resumption matches before returning to the national team.

"If we can't play six matches, I don't think we'll go" to Australia.

"The risks to the well-being of the player would be just too great," said Nienaber as the resumption of rugby in South Africa on Saturday only allows five matches between now and the date of departure for the Championship.

© 2020 AFP