Wallabies granted travel exemption to fly to NZ

1 month ago 20
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The Wallabies will fly to Auckland as planned on Friday after the New Zealand government granted them a travel exemption to take a special charter flight before the border closed.

Grant Robertson, NZ's minister of sport and recreation, said the decision was made on economic grounds with a sellout crowd expected for the Bledisloe Cup opener on August 7.

"This is important economically," Robertson said.

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"A Test match is estimated to be worth between (NZ) $17-20 million in spending for host regions, while the broadcast rights provide much needed income for the sport, which positively effects all levels of the game," Robertson said.

"Test rugby between the All Blacks and the Wallabies is keenly anticipated by New Zealanders, and I welcome the decision to allow the Australian team to travel given the game was less than two weeks away when trans-Tasman travel was suspended.

"The Wallabies have been operating in their own bubble for some time, and will travel from their base in Queensland on a charter flight to Auckland on Friday morning.

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Matt To'omua of Australia during a Bledisloe Cup match at Sky Stadium in Wellington. (Getty)

"They will have to fulfil all normal obligations for travel including negative pre-departure tests within 72 hours of their travel.

"The exemption means the Bledisloe match in Auckland can take place on August 7.

The original schedule included Bledisloe Tests in Perth on August 21 and Wellington on August 28 but the NZ government's decision to push pause on the trans-Tasman travel bubble upset those plans.

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"Decisions on the other games are dependent on ongoing discussions between New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia," Robertson said.

"This decision was not taken lightly by the government and given the Wallabies use of a charter flight, there is no restriction on public access to a return flight to New Zealand."

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