Rugby Championship: Organisers ‘confident’ tournament will go ahead | Rugby Union News

Last Updated: 06/07/20 10:44pm

Organisers are considering a model where New Zealand or Australia would host this year’s Rugby Championship

The head of southern hemisphere body SANZAAR is confident the Rugby Championship will be played this year despite borders remaining locked amid the continuing spread of the coronavirus.

Andy Marinos told New Zealand website Stuff he remains “very positive” the four-nation Test tournament will possibly come from October and finish in December.

SANZAAR is considering a model which would see New Zealand or Australia hosting every one of the matches within an eight-week tournament involving the All Blacks, Wallabies, South Africa’s Springboks and Argentina’s Pumas.

South Africa and Argentina are the other two teams that compete in the Rugby Championship

South Africa and Argentina are the other two teams that compete in the Rugby Championship

“The biggest elephant or anomaly in the room is what sort of restrictions that could come in,” Marinos said. “So we always have to be guided by governments and health authorities around that.”

“But we are certainly very positive as a group to deliver a Rugby Championship this year in whichever market we can, where we can get all the teams in and get the competition underway.”

New Zealand and Australia already are scheduled to meet up in four Bledisloe Cup tests from October 10 to November 8, that could become section of a wider Rugby Championship. But border restrictions create a Rugby Championship unlikely.

New Zealand’s and Australia’s borders currently are only open, with a couple of exceptions, to returning citizens who have to quarantine for 14 days on arrival. Both countries have restarted domestic rugby, but South Africa and Argentina remain shut down.

The New Zealand and Australian governments are looking at a trans-Tasman bubble which may allow quarantine-free travel between your countries. But a recent spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria state has complicated moves towards such an agreement.