New Zealand on Thursday was confirmed as a centralised host for the Rugby Championship later this year, subject to government approval, the governing body Sanzaar said.
The South African New Zealand Australian and Argentinian rugby unions (Sanzaar) have been working on a new format since the disruption of the sport due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“We have determined that New Zealand is currently the favoured option given the Covid-19 stability within the region,” Sanzaar said in a statement.
“Sanzaar is well advanced in option planning with New Zealand Rugby, which in turn, is now seeking New Zealand Government approval.”
No dates have been disclosed yet, but the aim is to still host the event sometime this year.
New Zealand is a shining light in fighting the spread of Covid-19 with just 27 active infections in the country, with all those cases reported to be in strict quarantine.
Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos said: “It goes without saying that we are operating in a very dynamic and fluid environment that has additional layers of complexity given the diverse, multi-jurisdictional nature of our international cross-border competition structures.
“The impact of Covid-19 has forced a rethink on the Super Rugby competition and The Rugby Championship delivery in 2020.
“Due to the ongoing uncertainty over international travel for 2021 and beyond the Member Unions are also working on solutions past this year that will excite fans, broadcasters and deliver high-performance outcomes for the Unions.”
Sanzaar also said it was working with South Africa in its own return to completion strategy. –
In partnership with ANA and Sports Leo