All Blacks withdraw team from Bledisloe Cup and cancel home Tests

New Zealand Rugby says it made the decisions due to Covid-19 travel restrictions

Aaron Smith of New Zealand tries to avoid a tackle during the second Bledisloe Cup match against Australia at Eden Park in Auckland on August 14, 2021. AFP
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New Zealand has stopped its men’s team from travelling to Australia for the third Bledisloe match and cancelled two Tests hosting world champions South Africa due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said in a statement it had “made the decision not to send the All Blacks to Perth this weekend for the third Bledisloe Cup Test” scheduled to take place on August 28.

Matches hosting South Africa in Dunedin on September 25 and in Auckland at Eden Park on October 2 have also been cancelled, NZR said.

It added that the country’s women’s side will no longer host Australia for matches in Christchurch on September 26 and at Eden Park on October 2.

“The decision follows advice from Government that the Springboks and Wallaroos would not be able to enter New Zealand to play the matches due to Covid-19 travel restrictions,” NZR said in its statement.

New Zealand this week went into a national lockdown after a case of the Covid-19 Delta strain, which spread from Australia, was detected.

Updated: August 20, 2021, 7:17 AM