RFU Accused Of Being ‘Deceitful & Underhand’ Ahead Of Proposed England & All Blacks Fixture
It was revealed earlier this week that New Zealand Rugby and the RFU were in talks over a proposed Test match this year.
Sportsmail reported that England are ‘desperately trying to convince the world champions to agree to a fixture at Twickenham on November 4.”
The All Blacks are currently scheduled to take on the Barbarians at the same venue, on the same day with the famous touring side branding the RFU’s move to veto the match as ‘deceitful and underhand’.
According to the Daily Mail, RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie made renewed contact with NZRU chief executive Steve Tew, on Thursday night. Tew reportedly reiterated that the NZRU’s wish is for the All Blacks to play the Barbarians, in a ceremonial fixture with profound historical resonance, to mark their 125th anniversary.
Ritchie however has reportedly countered by threatening to refuse approval for the match to take place within their jurisdiction. This stance indicates the union’s willingness to adopt ultra-aggressive negotiating tactics, in order to force the Test match.
The RFU are claiming that they only became aware of the proposed Barbarians v All Blacks game a few weeks ago and have simply made tentative enquiries about whether England could participate instead.
The Barbarians however, insist that permission was originally sought last November and that the RFU had given outline consent for their match to take place, even agreeing a stadium hire fee of £500,000. The RFU sought to clarify the situation, emphasising that the fixture they had approved was to have been between Australia and the Barbarians.