The All Blacks have said no to their autumn international tour later this year according to the rugby paper.co.uk. They report New Zealand will abandon their three match tour in the autumn which is likely to cost England, Scotland and Wales more than £20 million.
The reasoning behind the cancelling of the games which were due to be held at Twickenham, Murrayfield and Cardiff is said to be on the back of advice from the New Zealand government. New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ahern, has stated the borders of the country will remain closed to the rest of the world for a long time.
Bill Sweeney the England Rugby Football Union Chief Executive has said that the effect of the lockdown will cost the RFU over £100 million over the next year, while Wales chief executive estimates a loss of around £50 million. The biggest of the three games would of course be England v New Zealand. New Zealand of course would have been looking to for revenge in that game having lost in the World Cup semi-final to the English last year. A full house would have brought in £10 million in ticket sales, not to mention the commercial aspect of things such as bars, retail shops in Twickenham itself. Rugbypaper.co.uk report that New Zealand now intend to plan a series of Super Rugby franchises followed by a four test series against Australia. All of these games will be behind closed doors of course.
Meanwhile, plans to get the Six Nations going are well underway. The Super Saturday of Six Nations games which were due to take place on the final weekend of the Six Nations have been pencilled in for October 31st. These game involve Ireland v France, Wales v Scotland and England v Italy. Simon Haliday EPCR chairman said last week, “We, the PRO14, Gallagher Premiership and Top 14, have informed World Rugby we will exercise our right to complete the tournament on our dates in October,’’ EPCR chairman Simon Halliday said last Saturday. “We fully intend that to happen but everyone, of course, is subject to being able to play.