Wallabies granted economic exemption for Bledisloe Cup

Source: 1News

The Wallabies have received an economic exemption to play in New Zealand while the trans-Tasman bubble is suspended. 

Acting Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall granted the team the exemption.

Last week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the Wallabies would have seven days to enter the country without going into managed isolation as long as they can provide a "significant economic case" to do so.

Exemptions are considered case-by-case, with Sport Minister Grant Robertson calling the Bledisloe match "important economically".

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

"A test match is estimated to be worth between $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.

"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."

He said the Wallabies would travel from Queensland on a charter flight to Auckland on Friday morning.

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

"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."