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All Blacks ‘disappointed’ timing of final Test in Australia means team won’t be out of isolation in time for Christmas

The Rugby Championship has officially been locked in for 2020 with SANZAAR revealing the schedule for the six-week tournament which will kick off in November, but New Zealand Rugby isn't happy.

Sam Cane. Source: 1 NEWS

NZR were quick to express their "disappointment" at the schedule with regards to the All Blacks' final Test - Saturday 12 December against the Wallabies - which they say is "a change from original planning".

The tournament runs from November 7 to December 12 and features multiple double-headers throughout.

It's the final round that has NZR upset.

"We were working on the understanding and all our planning and scheduling was on the basis that the All Blacks last match would be on December 5 to give our players and management time to get home, undertake the 14 days' quarantine back in New Zealand, and then be with their families for Christmas, as will be the case for the other three teams in the Tournament," NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said.

"We understand the commercial considerations in the scheduling. However, the wellbeing of our people is an incredibly important factor in this also."

With the current health regulations in place in New Zealand, even if the All Blacks flew back to New Zealand on the same evening they played their final Test, they wouldn't be released from quarantine until December 26.

Robinson said NZR will be working with SANZAAR to find a solution.

"We are committed to playing in the Rugby Championship and we know the scheduling of matches has been a complex and dynamic issue to work through, especially with quarantine protocols, but we haven't agreed to this schedule and are disappointed at the announcement.

"We will now work through the issues with Rugby Australia and SANZAAR and believe that there are other solutions within the Rugby Championship window."

The Rugby Championship 2020 fixtures
 
Round One - Saturday 7 November 2020
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Argentina v South Africa
Australia v New Zealand
 
Round Two - Saturday 14 November
Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
New Zealand v Argentina
South Africa v Australia
 
Round Three - Saturday 21 November
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
New Zealand v South Africa
Australia v Argentina
 
Round Four – Saturday 28 November
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Argentina v Australia
South Africa v New Zealand
 
Round Five – Saturday 5 December
Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Argentina v New Zealand
Australia v South Africa
 
Round Six – Saturday 12 December
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
South Africa v Argentina
Australia v New Zealand