Wayne Pivac has admitted his disappointment after Wales’ summer tour to New Zealand and Japan was officially called off.
The decision was taken by World Rugby after talks with host Unions in the face of insurmountable problems caused by measures taken to counter the coronavirus pandemic.
The Welsh Rugby Union have said they will examine ways to get the tour re-scheduled at a future date, but that remains only a possibility.
“We were very much looking forward to playing both in Japan and New Zealand in the summer so this postponement is disappointing but completely understandable in the circumstances,” said Pivac.
“Having seen first-hand the welcome the team received at the World Cup in Japan, and the extraordinary scenes at the open training session, I am sure our fantastic relationship with Japanese rugby will go from strength to strength in the future.
“On a personal note I was really looking forward to returning to New Zealand with Wales. It’s unfortunate that we will now have to wait a little longer for that privilege, but the occasion will be no less relished when it arrives.”
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) May 15, 2020
Pivac was meant to return to his homeland for his first tour as Wales coach with Tests in Auckland on July 4 and Wellington on July 11, after having played a one-off Test in Japan on June 27.
England’s tour to Japan, Scotland’s trip to South Africa and New Zealand, and Ireland’s to Australia have also been removed from the schedule.
A statement from World Rugby said: “Extended travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to numerous countries and concerns over adequate player preparation time, mean that any sort of cross-border international rugby competition cannot be hosted in July.
“Monitoring of the potential impact on the remaining 2020 international windows continues in collaboration with rugby stakeholders and the respective authorities.
“All decision-making will be entirely contingent on national government travel, quarantine and health advice and important player welfare and hosting considerations in line with return-to-rugby guidance recently published by World Rugby.”