All Blacks looking for qualification loophole?
November 7, 1999
New Zealand Rugby Union Chairman Rob Fisher has caused consternation in New Zealand by suggesting that his Board may seek to exploit a loophole in the regulations re qualification for World Cup 2003.
The All Blacks lost the right to an automatic qualification when they lost last Thursday's playoff for third place to South Africa and were expected to have to face a qualification tournament against the likes of Tonga, Samoa, Fiji.
However, as Australia now go forward to that tournament as hosts and champions Fisher has suggested that this opens up a place for New Zealand as automatic qualifiers.
This has not been well received by rugby followers in New Zealand, who feel that New Zealand should front up on the field and not resort to such manoeuvrings.