Rugby Championship: All Blacks coach Ian Foster 'bitterly disappointed' over schedule backflip

All Blacks coach Ian Foster has come out firing at SANZAAR, alleging the governing body has failed to deliver on its originally proposed Rugby Championship plans.

NZ Rugby has protested against the tournament schedule that will see the All Blacks play their last game against the Wallabies on December 12, consigning players and staff to quarantine over the Christmas break.

Alternative solutions have been proposed to SANZAAR and while Foster isn't willing to reveal details of what they may involve, he insists there needs to be a resolution immediately.

"There was a deal based on the [December 5] where we feel that SANZAAR has reneged on that," Foster says. 

"There have been set expectations and they haven't been delivered on, so that's up for us, the game and SANZAAR to sort out in the next few days.

"Today would be great, but we'd accept tomorrow."

While the focus has been on the team's need to quarantine on Christmas Day, Foster says concerns also surround player workloads.

"You've got to remember that these players have been playing since February, they've been training since February," Foster notes.

"This is not just a Christmas issue, this is about players who have been playing and preparing to play through COVID-19 and through a whole lot of situations for a long, long time.

"At some point, we've got to draw a line in the sand and say 'that's enough'."

The original schedule that had South Africa and Argentina playing six times in six weeks, and the All Blacks six in five weeks was achievable, Foster insists.

"We're bitterly disappointed that what was proposed got changed," he says.

Speculation suggests some All Blacks with young families aren't willing to be away for such an extended period. 

Foster isn't prepared to delve into that possibility nor the potential for players boycotting test matches, remaining optimistic that a solution will be found.

"There's a whole lot of things that could happen, but let's not dwell on that," he says. "There's a good attitude to fix this up, and it needs fixing.

"We're not basing it on any schedule now, because the schedule that's been proposed is not one that we accepted or was agreed to."

Those grievances aside, Foster "absolutely" believes SANZAAR is ensuring that the Rugby Championship meets all of the criteria around COVID-19 prevention protocol.

"There's so much going on behind the scenes to make this tournament safe and I respect that SANZAAR is really working hard on that," he says.

"So there's a whole lot of good things going on, we've just got to sort out this little hiccup and get on with it."

Join us on October 11 for live updates of the All Blacks v Wallabies Bledisloe Cup clash