Touch New Zealand (TNZ) and Touch Football Australia (TFA) have today cancelled the proposed Youth and Masters Trans-Tasman events in 2022.
The recent announcement by the New Zealand government declaring borders will not re-open for international travellers until after 30 April 2022 means that the PainAway Emus are unable to travel to New Zealand for the 2022 series.
The Masters programs for both countries will now look towards the 2024 Touch World Cup and build a thorough preparation for that event while the respective Youth programs will focus on the 2023 Youth World Cup.
While the cancellation of the 2022 Youth and Masters Trans-Tasman events are now confirmed, a decision on the Open Trans-Tasman series set for April 2022 in Newcastle won’t be made until a later date with discussions to continue into the new year.
TFA CEO Jamie O’Connor said while the decision was disappointing it was necessary. “We are bitterly disappointed that we are unable to travel to Christchurch for both the Youth and Masters Trans-Tasman Series next year but the recent announcement by the New Zealand government has given us little option. We will continue to monitor the border restrictions and are hopeful that they will ease off in time to allow the Touch Blacks to visit us for the Opens Series in Newcastle.”
Touch New Zealand Chief Executive Joe Sprangers echoed Jamie’s thoughts “while we hope that international Touch between Australia and New Zealand might again be possible in the near future, the only decision we can make at this time is to cancel the Masters and Youth Trans Tasman’s before significant user pays costs are incurred by the participants. In the meantime we will work with Sport NZ and government to explore future opportunities”