Mo'unga commits to playing in Rugby Championship

Richie Mo'unga. Photo: Getty Images
Richie Mo'unga. Photo: Getty Images
Crusaders first-five Richie Mo'unga has committed to playing for the All Blacks in the upcoming Rugby Championship in Australia.

On Monday, RNZ incorrectly reported Mo'unga had told New Zealand Rugby that he didn't want to leave his young family for nine weeks.

But yesterday afternoon Mo'unga rubbished the report.

"It was actually quite laughable, really. It was the first I heard of it," Mo'unga told reporters in Christchurch.

"I had discussions with my wife and family that I'm lucky enough to have had a month with my baby, she turned four weeks on Sunday," Mo'unga said.

"But I do realise I am a footy player and I have a duty, and that's to play for Canterbury, and hopefully the All Blacks."

"It's a tricky one because as players we are made accountable for the things we say and do and it's quite tricky when speculations come out like that and it can be harmful and sad for family members during these uncertain times."

All Blacks coach Ian Foster is confident he'll have a full strength squad to choose from to take to Australia and said while some players have questions over spending nine weeks away and what that might look like, none had yet made the decision not to travel.

He also dismissed RNZ's report on Monday that Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara didn't want to go to the tournament, saying while they had some questions they were yet to make a decision.

Now the dates for next month's Bledisloe Cup tests in New Zealand are confirmed, Foster will want confirmation of how long the All Blacks will be in Australia, before talking to each player individually.

New Zealand Rugby will determine on a case-by-case basis what the players want to do, with players given the option to opt out of heading across the Tasman.

Foster yesterday said it was frustrating people were focusing on the negatives, such as "losing" out on hosting the Rugby Championship to Australia, rather than the positives, such as having a decent chunk of test rugby this year.

The Bledisloe Cup tests, in Wellington on Sunday, October 11, and Auckland on Sunday, October 18, are afternoon games, which should will please many fans and hopefully make for some exciting rugby.








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