The All Blacks have reportedly rejected an offer to take on world champions South Africa in a one-off test in Dubai.
According to South Africa's Daily Maverick, NZ Rugby was close to finalising an agreement to take on their traditional rivals as part of the Springboks' warm-up for the British & Irish Lions series, starting July 24.
The Maverick reports NZR declined the offer due to the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirements when they returned home, which would jeopardise their July home test schedule.
The All Blacks will host Fiji for two tests on July 10 and July 11, but are still searching for opponents for their July 3 fixture, after Italy decided against travelling to New Zealand.
Samoa and Tonga have emerged as the two most likely candidates for that match, which will be played in either Hamilton or Auckland.
The All Blacks haven't played South Africa since their 2019 Rugby World Cup opener, which they won 23-13 at Yokohama.
Japan, coached by Kiwi Jamie Joseph, also reportedly turned down a Springboks fixture in Dubai, sharing the same concerns about COVID-19 travel demands.
The Springboks will instead host Georgia in a two-test series on July 3 & 10, before their opening test against the Lions in Johannesburg.