CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 31: South African Rugby Union chief executive, Jurie Roux during the  RWC 2023 Media Conference at Imbizo Media Centre, Parliament on October 31, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
South Africa Commits to Rugby Championship

Southern hemisphere rugby union alliance SANZAAR has announced that South Africa will continue to play in its annual Rugby Championship tournament until at least 2025.

The announcement follows recent reports that South Africa could leave the tournament to join the Europe-based Six Nations Championship instead.

“The pandemic has created a very unusual sporting environment over the last two years, with match and commercial delivery severely affected,” said SANZAAR Chairman Marcelo Rodríguez. “This has seen the member unions work very hard to keep rugby alive and present during Covid and, at times, this has not been easy. Indeed, there has been much speculation about the future, but it is now great that all members have committed through to the end of 2025 as a minimum.”

Rodríguez added that SANZAAR hoped the Rugby Championship would return to its usual home-and-away format this year. Last season, organisers were forced to move fixtures to Queensland in Australia due to disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa.

HAVE YOU ALSO READ?: FNB Unveiled as Global Partner of RWC Sevens

In addition, it has been reported that SANZAAR will meet Six Nations bosses in London next month in a bid to revive the proposed World Nations Championship format. According to plans outlined by World Rugby, the competition would see 12 teams play each other during the existing Six Nations and Rugby Championship windows, with the top two teams playing a grand final – and the bottom sides relegated to a feeder division.

The project had secured equity support worth $8.3bn over 12 years from sports marketing agency Infront. The prospect of promotion and relegation proved to be a major sticking point, however, with some countries unconvinced about the commercial sustainability of a second division.

SANZAAR Chief Executive Brendan Morris told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper: “If we can work together for an outcome that produces a global champion every two years, engages our fan bases more than we do now and throughout the year, and provides a pathway for rugby’s emerging nations to improve and progress, then we can be in a much better position to grow our game and take it to the next level.”

Sport Industry Group
Sport Industry Group

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

Related posts