Fresh doubts have been cast over Rugby Championship matches, including those involving the Springboks, being able to take place in Perth due to renewed Covid-19 concerns.
After the match against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this weekend, the Boks are set to head to Australia, with the most recent expectation being that all four of their overseas matches could end up being played in Perth.
However, on Wednesday, Western Australia premier Mark McGowan cast doubts over the prospect of Perth hosting such fixtures.
On 28 August already, the Wallabies were first scheduled to host New Zealand in the third game of this year’s Bledisloe Cup series at Optus Stadium in Perth, but that now looks unlikely.
From Wednesday, New Zealanders flying into Perth would have to serve a two-week quarantine period.
While McGowan did not rule out the possibility of an “arrangement” to grant the All Blacks travel exemptions, he conceded the game might not go ahead as scheduled.
“We are not sure,” he said. “Maybe we have to work out some arrangement, or there may be a bubble, or they just have to comply with the rules that exist for everybody else.
“It’s a moving situation and it would be disappointing for rugby fans if we are forced to cancel the game, but that is the nature of the world we live in.”
Even if Perth was able to remain the venue for the clash between the All Blacks and Wallabies, it appears increasingly doubtful that it would host other Rugby Championship matches.
“I think it would be unlikely – it’s not our number one priority,” McGowan admitted.
If Perth is ruled out as an option, Queensland could become an alternative option, with Rugby Australia reported to have been in talks with government to move most of the remaining Rugby Championships games to the northeast state.