All Blacks coach Ian Foster says he is hopeful South Africa will be able to take their place in this year’s Rugby Championship.
The Springboks will make a decision this week on playing in the November 7-December 12 southern hemisphere competition in Australia as they grapple with player welfare concerns and uncertainty over Covid-19 travel restrictions.
And Foster says: “We would love to have them there.
“Quality people, quality team. They would be fantastic for what is cooking ahead [with the Rugby Championship].
“We know the challenges they have been through... but it would be great to play against them on the park.”
Argentina, the other team in the Championship, have already arrived in Australia and are undergoing quarantine protocols.
After the All Blacks were held to a 16-16 draw with the Wallabies in their Bledisloe Cup opener on Sunday, Foster discussed the decision not to go for a dropgoal after the match had ticked past the regulation 80 minutes.
In hindsight, he says, the team should have slowed the pace of their attack down and taken some time to assess the situation, with flyhalf Richie Mo’unga attempting a dropgoal if needed.
The second game against the Wallabies is in Auckland on Sunday.