Hurricanes star TJ Perenara admits All Blacks face “challenges” in the near future as many weigh up leaving their young families for over two months to don the black jersey in Australia.
With Australia recently taking over the hosting responsibilities of this year’s Rugby Championship from New Zealand due to Covid-19, it means players such as Perenara will be asked to be away from family for 10 weeks, quarantine periods included.
Perenara admitted the thought of leaving his wife and newborn daughter was a difficult one.
"Leaving will be hard for a number of reasons," Perenara said.
"Getting amongst Te Kapa ō Raiona [Wellington Lions] for the last couple of weeks has been awesome. Built some great friendships within the environment and then also leaving my wife and baby for the next little while will be hard."
Perenara and his wife Greer welcomed their daughter last month, joining a growing list of All Blacks with young families.
"It will have its challenges," Perenara added. "It's not an easy situation for anyone regardless if you have families or not.
"But leaving my wife and my young daughter will be a difficult situation, although I am excited about the opportunity to be in the All Blacks environment.
"It's always an honour and a privilege to be selected in that team and be in that environment with the best players in the world."
Perenara’s comments come after fellow All Black Richie Mo’unga – who also welcomed his first child last month – snapped back at a “laughable” media claim that some members of the squad were considering pulling out of this year’s Rugby Championship for family.
“It’s actually quite laughable really. It’s the first I heard of it,” he said.
“I feel like it's tricky when speculations like that do come out and it can be harmful or sad for family members, especially with uncertain times coming up, we’re not sure how long we're away for.”
“It’s quite sad for the wife to hear rumours sort of being made up like that.”
Mo’unga said he, Perenara and soon-to-be father Beauden Barrett, who were also named in the report last week, will make the decisions in their own time.
“I'm sure players with newborn babies and soon-to-be fathers will make those decisions and have those convos in their own times with Fozzy [Ian Foster] and management.”