Rugby Australia make $5 million threat to All Blacks

Rugby Australia chief Andy Marinos has asked New Zealand Rugby for written assurance that the All Blacks will not bail out on a rescheduled third Bledisloe Cup Test against the Wallabies in Perth.

The remaining Rugby Champions fixtures were thrown into disarray on Friday when New Zealand pulled out of an away game against Australia, scheduled for Perth next Saturday, because of new Covid-19 restrictions.

In a statement, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) unilaterally announced the All Blacks’ two home Rugby Championship Tests against South Africa will not be played in New Zealand, and that the All Blacks would not be flying to Perth this weekend for the third Bledisloe Cup Test which was scheduled to be played at Optus Stadium on 28 August.

The decision left Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos, the former Sanzaar boss, livid, and he expressed his disappointment in a subsequent statement.

According to a report in the Sydney Morning HeraldRugby Australia is still hopeful that the third Bledisloe Cup Test can go ahead in Perth, on a rescheduled date of 4 September.

However, Marinos told the Herald that he wants a written assurance from New Zealand Rugby that the All Blacks will fulfill their responsibilities and play the Test.

“I want it in writing. We have an email, but we need a letter for both the government and the stadium as well,” Marinos said.

“That should be forthcoming pretty soon.”

The report goes on to state that should the Test be called off, the Western Australia government will look to recoup the $5 million they paid Rugby Australia to host the Test in Perth, which RA would be liable for.

However, Marinos said RA would also pursue financial compensation if the game does not go ahead.

“I’ve made New Zealand very aware that we have a contract and they’ve made a commitment,” Marinos said.


Photo: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

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Dylan Jack