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National questions NZ's ability to host major sports events after missing out on Rugby Championship

New Zealand’s ability to host major sports events is being questioned by National.

It comes as provincial rugby braces for at least one more weekend being affected of Covid-19, after the extension of current alert levels by the Government today.

Last week Australia was given the hosting rights to this year's Rugby Championship.

National's sport and recreation spokesman Mark Mitchell says missing out on the tournament doesn’t bode well.

General view during the All Blacks v Wallabies Bledisloe Cup rugby union match at Eden Park, Auckland. New Zealand. Saturday 15 August 2015. Source: Photosport

“If we can’t even secure a sporting event with our closest neighbour, it doesn’t bode well for our ability to host other upcoming international sporting events such as the America's Cup or Women’s Cricket World Cup.

Sports Minister Grant Robertson said New Zealand had the necessary facilities.

“We know the importance of these competitions for not only sports people in New Zealand but also from an economic and development point of view, and we will have the facilities we need,” he said.

With Level Two extended for at least an extra week, it's another hit in the coffers for provincial rugby unions, understood to be around $50,000 in lost revenue for every game played under restrictions.

“Certainly wasn't what we were hoping for, Level 1 is what would have been great this week but we've planned accordingly,” Hawke's Bay RFU commercial manager Dan Somerville said.

Similarly, Tasman’s forecasts for no crowds made for dire reading.

“Right when it first started, we did projections of crowds/no crowds, and we projected what it looked like financially - it's not a great look,” Tony Lewis said.

Lewis felt that New Zealand had missed a trick when it came to the Rugby Championship.

“I think when everything falls out in acouple of months, we probably missed a trick, Australia a bit smarter and sharper on this one. But they've had the advantage of soccer, rugby league, and AFL, so they've been able to work quickly and nimble,” he said.