SANZAAR has announced that this year’s Rugby Championship will take place in Australia, in November and December.
The confirmation followed a detailed assessment of tournament hosting submissions from New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia, SANZAAR said in a statement. The tournament was moved from its traditional August-September window due to the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The matches will be played within the recently-announced World Rugby-sanctioned Southern Hemisphere playing window of 7 November to 12 December. The tournament will comprise a six -week, 12-match, “home and away” tournament involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
“SANZAAR ultimately determined that based on government required quarantine protocols [for entry and training prior to the tournament] and commercial underwriting, the Rugby Australia submission was the most desirable and workable in terms of tournament logistics for the essential pre-tournament preparation period and the six-week tournament itself,” said SANZAAR CEO, Andy Marinos.
Marinos said that South Africa’s participation remained to be confirmed, as it was dependent on several factors outside the control of SANZAAR.
“The progress and impact of the pandemic has varied from country-to-country and international sporting competition is currently suspended in South Africa,” he said. “The Springboks’ participation will be dependent on the relaxation of that suspension as well as overcoming a number of other logistical challenges, including the opening of international air borders. South Africa is only expected to return to competitive play next month [October], leaving a relatively short time to prepare.”