WELLINGTON (Reuters) - All Blacks hooker Dane Coles said on Wednesday he has no concerns about heading to Australia for more than two months for the Rugby Championship, joking that he could use the time away from his three children.
The All Blacks are due to head to Australia for the Nov. 7-Dec. 12 southern hemisphere competition after two Bledisloe Cup tests against the Wallabies in New Zealand next month.
Biosecurity protocols mean players will be away from their families for about nine weeks.
“I’ve got three kids, I’ll be on that first plane out of here,” Coles told reporters in Wellington while laughing.
“It’s our job and we’ve got to go over there, and playing for the black jersey sometimes takes a little bit of sacrifice.
“It’s a little bit longer but if you’ve got to do it, you’ve got to do it. I’m definitely putting my hand up to go over there and play for the All Blacks.”
Coles, who added that he would support any of his team mates who opted not to go, was reluctant to discuss concerns about whether the Championship might not go ahead.
The Argentina squad have been dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19 infections and, like world champions South Africa, have not played since March and would be lacking match fitness.
“I don’t want to go into it further because there’s that many rumours going on ... right now we’ve got two weeks of guaranteed footy and that’s awesome,” Coles said.
“Any rugby, especially All Blacks footy, at the moment would be pretty good.”
Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Peter Rutherford
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.