Shame, but just another week

A panoramic view of Forsyth Barr Stadium on Saturday night. Photos: Peter McIntosh
Forsyth Barr Stadium was set to be hosting the All Blacks this weekend. Photos: Peter McIntosh
This week the bagpipes were set to come out.

The kilts would have received a viewing, and there would also have been an eagle or two roaming about. But then Covid-19 popped up and this weekend is just another couple of days in July in the South.

Before the pandemic enveloped the world, this week was the one when international rugby would have come to Forsyth Barr Stadium.

Scotland was due to take on the All Blacks this Saturday and it would have been double-header as the Black Ferns were also scheduled to face the United States at the stadium.

But it was not to be and, although World Rugby does not appear to have yet formally cancelled the tests, there is no chance of the games being played.

The All Blacks were set to play Wales in two tests over the past couple of weeks and then head south to play Scotland in a one-off test.

Scotland was scheduled to play two tests against World Cup winner South Africa in the republic and then travel all the way to Dunedin for the one-off test.

World Rugby announced in May the midyear tests in the southern hemisphere had been postponed but nothing has been posted since. There had been talk of playing the tests in October but that has yet to be confirmed and it looks a long shot.

Scotland last played in Dunedin in 2000.

Otago Rugby Football Union general manager Richard Kinley said although the test had only been postponed he was not counting on it being played.

It would be a financial hit to the union as in previous years a test was about $100,000 in income to the union. That would not be forthcoming.

"There is that financial hit but also not having international rugby in the South is disappointing for the whole region," he said.

He said the union and DVML had been keen to hold any international rugby which came to New Zealand this year but everything was up in the air. Nothing had been set in concrete by New Zealand Rugby.

The stadium did not host a test last year so the test against the French in 2018 was the most recent played in the city.

It was disappointing to not host the Black Ferns who last played a game in Dunedin in 1997.

Kinley said a handful of early-bird tickets had been sold for the game but they had been refunded.


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