RUGBY UNION: The Brisbane Global Tens will experience a total blackout when it is held for the first time next month.
Current All Blacks players have reportedly been ruled out of the tournament featuring Super Rugby teams, to be held at Suncorp Stadium on February 11-12.
NZ Rugby is believed to have instructed the the country's franchises none of their Test players can be made available as it will be in breach of the players collective agreement, which stipulates players must be given a 12-week break.
The Tens tournament is set to fall too soon since the All Blacks' last European tour match against France on November 27.
In a major blow for organisers, it will effectively rule out stars such as Israel Dagg, an ambassador for the tournament, Beauden Barrett, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, TJ Perenara and Jerome Kaino.
The New Zealand Rugby Union Players Association explained that there were never any promises about All Blacks' availability.
"It was known right from the outset that All Blacks that were on the end of year tour ... there'd be no obligation on them to play,” NZRUPA chief executive Rob Nichols told the NZ Herald.
"They'd only play if everyone agreed, ie New Zealand Rugby, the players, the franchises.
"That 12 weeks a year is very, very important and that overrides everything.”
Rachael Carroll, the director of Duco's Australian operations, said she was awaiting the submission of the squads from the New Zealand franchises, but remained confident there would still be big names to pull in the crowds.
"We've got 14 teams in this tournament ... you start to get a couple of superstars out of each of those clubs, bolt that all together, you're dealing with 30-plus of the highest profile players from around the world. That's an exceptional tournament,” she said.
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