All Blacks to Establish Facts Before Deciding on Rugby Championship

New Zealand Rugby Players Association CEO Rob Nichol has denied reports that some All Blacks have already decided not to play in this year’s Rugby Championship.

The tournament is to take place in Australia and with 14-day quarantine rules in place either side of Tasman, it would mean the All Blacks would be away for 10 weeks.

The four-team tournament takes place between November 7 to December 12 and it has been reported that Richie Mo’unga, Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara are among a group of players who’ve already stated they don’t want to go, because of family reasons.

However, Nichol says he’d be shocked if any All Blacks have already made a decision.

“I don’t think any player at this stage has made a final call,” Nichol said.

“We’ve got a process we’ve put in place and all of the players know we’re working on a plan.

“When you’re making a decision like this, you want to have the full plan in front of you and we don’t have that full picture yet.

“New Zealand Rugby are doing some work at the moment, we’ve talked to them today and over the weekend and we’ll talk again tomorrow and I’m hoping in the next 24-48 hours we’ll get answers to some of the questions which will help inform that.”

“Once we’ve got the full plan, that’s the point when players will look at it and then take it under consideration. They’ll be given a reasonable amount of time to mull over it and talk it through to those close to them.

“I’d be very surprised if any player has made a decision as yet, because they know we’ve got a fair bit of work to do on the details before they know what it involves.

“Obviously, a lot to people are going to be speculating and wanting to put it out there, but one step at a time.”

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