All blacks could play the 100th Test against South Africa at home as NZ Rugby are optimistic about hosting multiple Tests in 2021
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Arch-rivals All Blacks and Springboks will play their 100th friendly this year and NZR hopes it will be in New Zealand.
New Zealand rugby is confident that it will take on multiple international opponents in 2021 and is speaking to multiple government agencies to make it happen.
General Manager Mark Robinson has confirmed that NZR is optimistic about hosting Italy and Fiji and possibly part of the rugby championship.
The latter could include hosting a historic blockbuster between the All Blacks and South Africa.
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New Zealand rugby is optimistic that the All Blacks will face multiple international opponents in 2021.
The two nations will play their 100th meeting this year, a century after their first encounter in Dunedin.
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NZR has made no effort to host the entire rugby championship as it prefers a co-hosting format with the other countries involved, but these discussions between the Sanzaar partners are ongoing.
South Africa is unlikely to be accepted as the host partner, opening the possibility of the 100th Test between the two nations being held in New Zealand.
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“At that point, they signaled that they didn’t want to host the rugby championship this year,” said Robinson.
“We are of course also confident that whatever happens to the rugby championship later in the year, we would love the opportunity to play that at home when South Africa is unable to host, which is obvious at the moment One possibility is.”
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Similar to last year, the NZR is working closely with the government, including health and border officials, to understand what can be possible in the earliest possible period.
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The All Blacks were able to play tests against Italy and Fiji ahead of this year’s rugby championship in New Zealand.
Italy (twice) and Fiji are expected to face the All Blacks in the middle of the year, but those games have yet to be confirmed.
“We are also working with partners in countries like Italy and Fiji that are ready for the stone storage series, as well as of course with our Sanzaar partners, to understand what their governments are saying in this area too,” said Robinson.
Some of the conversations are positive, Robinson said.
Depending on how the Covid-19 situation develops in the coming months, Robinson is also confident that the All Blacks will embark on a tour at the end of the year.
“We’re about to finalize a year-end tour schedule,” he said.