NZ PM Ardern plays down Bledisloe biosecurity concerns

New Zealand Rugby Chairman Brent Impey

Foster had already been expected to expand the 36-man squad he named a week ago after New Zealand failed to secure the Rugby Championship hosting rights.

Fresh off losing New Zealand the rights to the Rugby Championship, the Government needs to take urgent action to prevent losing the Bledisloe Cup as well, National's Sport & Recreation spokesperson Mark Mitchell says.

New Zealand Rugby confirmed on Tuesday the first test will be played at Wellington on Sunday, Oct. 11 and the second will be played in Auckland on Oct. 18.

While Australian media jumped on Rennie's comments and said there was a chance RA would refuse to play, Ardern told a media conference on Monday she did not think that was likely.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier said an agreement was reached with New Zealand Rugby to allow the Wallabies to train in small groups from the third day and as a full group from the sixth day of their two-week quarantine period.

"I was made aware last night that there were a few little rumblings around the arrangements that we had in place", Ardern said.

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"Dave (Rennie) and the team are incredibly excited about the prospect of playing in New Zealand and will get straight to work following the Vodafone Super Rugby AU Final on Saturday night in Canberra".

According to NZ Rugby chairman Brent Impey, New Zealand's quarantine protocols initially restricted teams to individual isolation for the first three days, before being allowed to form bubbles of 15 for training from days four to seven.

The Wallabies coach was left frustrated at the idea his side would be forced to quarantine for two weeks and then play a Test match one week later with minimal training.

A RNZ.co.nz report on Monday suggested each of Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo'unga and TJ Perenara had expressed concerns about having to spend nearly two months across the Tasman to complete the tournament.

Of the All Blacks who reportedly flagged their concerns with NZ Rugby, Perenara and Mo'unga are new first-time fathers after their wives gave birth recently while Barrett and his partner will have their first child next month. "We just want to make sure we go there and we go there and it is a fair arrangement", Ardern said. "Are we in trouble? No". No, we're not in trouble. Of course we are. "This is all new to everyone, taking players away for nine weeks where you can't get back.it's a big chunk of time and we're just working it through with players".

"This challenge of what they are about to undertake is going to be significant and we will back them and their families in whatever way we need to ensure they are looked after".

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