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'That's not equality' - Black Ferns' playing conditions in USA slammed by Melodie Robinson

Broadcaster and former Black Fern Melodie Robinson has hit out at the conditions at the women's Super Series in San Diego where New Zealand's top players have been playing at sub-standard facilities.

Playing in a five-way series alongside hosts USA, plus Canada, England and France, the Super Series has been undermined by an almost unprofessional set up, and facilities clearly not up to international standard.

The playing field hosting international Test matches is a training field. Teams' changing sheds are nothing but a tent with a portable toilet.

No seating has been provided for fans with spectators expected to bring their own.

Appearing on TVNZ's The Front Row, Robinson, who played 18 Tests for New Zealand, and former Blues back Isa Nacewa hit out at the conditions presented for an international tournament.

"We get to the facilities and what they've dealt with, it's just rubbish, it's absolute rubbish," Nacewa said.

Robinson also opened up about her own experiences, saying conditions are no better today than they were back in the mid-90s.

"In 1996, we went to the Churchill Cup in Canada. We played in fields with no seats, nobody watched. We did stay in a nice hotel though.

"Back in 1996, we had better conditions than the 2019 Black Ferns have.

"[The] Black Ferns can't really say anything, because they're over there. It's the United States that's probably put the facilities up. They don't have as much money.

"The Black Ferns will say 'at least we're playing international rugby'. But personally, in this day and age, that's not equity, that's not equality, it's not really good enough."

TVNZ sport presenter Scotty Stevenson also laid into the conditions earlier in the week, tweeting that as the Black ferns wouldn't complain, he'd complain for them.

The Black Ferns continue their Super Series against France in San Diego on Sunday morning NZT, before closing against England on July 15.

* The Front Row is available on 1 NEWS Now, Facebook and Youtube and as a podcast in all the usual places. It also airs on TVNZ's Duke channel.

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Kimberlee Downs is joined on TVNZ’s weekly rugby show by former Blue Isa Nacewa and ex-Black Fern Melodie Robinson. Source: 1 NEWS


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