Should the All Blacks emerge victorious from the Rugby World Cup final against the Springboks, the next question to ask after “How did they manage that?” will be to councils and New Zealand Rugby: “When and where is the parade?”
In the spirit of not getting too far ahead of ourselves, we’re going to get ahead of ourselves.
Auckland Council has said while there are no confirmed plans from it yet, it is in communication with New Zealand Rugby (NZR).
“Auckland Council does not have any confirmed plans for a post-Rugby World Cup event. However, we are in touch with NZ Rugby and will work with them when the time is right.
“In the meantime, and alongside supporters across Aotearoa, we wish the All Blacks all the very best for this weekend.”
NZR said they are “backing the All Blacks all the way ahead of their final against South Africa. Details around the team’s movements once they arrive back in Aotearoa will be shared after the final.”
So neither the council nor NZR are looking beyond the final – and like the All Blacks, they are focused solely on Stade de France.
It may be wishful thinking to assume “the time is right” when Wayne Barnes blows his whistle to call fulltime, but as it takes roughly two days to fly from Paris to Auckland, there is plenty of opportunity for the time to be right.
Sir Graham Henry and Richie McCaw parade through downtown Auckland after the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty Images
A “post-Rugby World Cup event” would round out a remarkable couple of years for the All Blacks following a run of unfortunate “firsts”: a series defeat to Ireland, defeats away and at home to Argentina and a first World Cup pool defeat.
As the sport’s governing body, the final sign-off rests with NZR, which will then work with councils – most likely Auckland first, as the country’s largest city.
New Zealand’s last Rugby World Cup champions, the Black Ferns, had a “Thank You Aotearoa” tour up and down the country and attended various events, including the team being celebrated at Parliament. The announcement of official celebrations came two weeks after the Ferns lifted the trophy at Eden Park, while fans flocked to downtown Auckland the following day.
The Government will have representation in Paris for the men’s final, with Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson attending.
The minister’s trip was approved by outgoing Prime Minister Chris Hipkins and endorsed by National Party leader and PM-elect Christopher Luxon.
Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau speaks on stage during the Black Ferns' "Thank You Aotearoa" tour at Parliament House. Photo / Getty Images
“I am delighted to be able to attend the Rugby World Cup final on behalf of the New Zealand Government,” Robertson said.
“The team is in top form to take on the Springboks, with both sides vying to win the cup for a fourth time.”
Robertson will depart for Paris, returning next week.
The Office of the Mayor of Auckland referred questions about a ticker-tape parade to Auckland Council.
How to follow the World Cup final action
Follow live updates: nzherald.co.nz
Listen to commentary: Join Elliott Smith on Newstalk ZB, Gold Sport and iHeartRadio, or catch the ACC on iHeartRadio or Hauraki
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