Uncertainty remains over this year’s All Blacks schedule but two nations have reportedly been confirmed for a July series in 2021.
All Blacks Hospitality is eagerly awaiting the venue and date information for the one-off 2021 All Blacks v Fiji Test Match.
The All Blacks will play Italy (twice) and one test against Fiji next July, if New Zealand’s border restrictions and the Covid-19 pandemic allow, according to the NZ Herald.
The three tests would be scheduled for the same time as Warren Gatland’s British and Irish Lions tour South Africa, the newspaper has reported. The All Blacks were scheduled to play against Wales and Scotland in July of this year but those tests were postponed due to Covid-19.
The Herald understands this year’s series would see the All Blacks host Italy (two tests) and Vern Cotter’s Fiji (one) at the same time as the British and Irish Lions’ scheduled blockbuster tour of South Africa.
Wales, along with Scotland, were scheduled to travel to New Zealand to face the All Blacks in last July’s test window, but those plans were scuppered by the global pandemic.
The two matches against the USA and Wales, which sit outside World Rugby’s designated test windows, would add an extra $2-3 million per test to NZR’s coffers via broadcast, ticket sales, and sponsorship revenue.
The fixtures would also bring the total number of matches on the All Blacks’ end-of-year tour to five, as Ian Foster’s squad are already scheduled to face France, Italy and Ireland.