Serious doubt has been cast on exactly how much New Zealand Rugby officials knew about the Rugby Championship schedule that left them "blindsided" and desperate to change, writes newshub.co.nz.
Newshub has obtained the minutes from a SANZAAR meeting, which indicate that all parties - including NZR - agreed to a six-week tournament ending December 12, as well as the timing of its release.
That's in stark contrast to the chorus of complaints from New Zealand officials over the last week, who alleged they'd been taken off guard by both the schedule - which requires players to quarantine over Christmas - and the timing of its announcement.
"Our understanding was that both New Zealand and Australia would be home for Christmas regardless of where the tournament was played," says NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson.
On Tuesday, Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan refuted that claim.
"I've seen board minutes from September 17, where the six-week competition was signed off," McLennan says.
On Wednesday, Newshub obtained those very minutes, which clearly show:
- A six-week draw presented to the competitions group - that includes NZR - was accepted by everyone.
- That the New South Wales Government wanted to announce its support for the draw on September 21. That was pushed back to September 24 - but all were comfortable with that.
Full story via newshub.co.nz