SANZAAR 'planning' another bio-bubble championship
Rugby’s SANZAAR says it’s open to the concept of again playing a centralised tournament-style competition following the success of the Tri-Nations in Australia.
New Zealand were crowned Tri-Nations champions following the final round in Sydney this past Saturday, which was a 16-all draw between the Wallabies and Argentina.
SANZAAR put out a statement on Monday congratulating New Zealand, who also retained the Bledisloe Cup this year, while Australia finished a disappointing last behind the Pumas.
The six-week tournament was reduced from the Rugby Championship to a three-team tournament when world champions South Africa chose not to travel to Australia, citing a lack of preparation due to the impact of coronavirus.
It’s the first time one country has hosted all matches and SANZAAR boss Andy Marinos hailed the centralised concept as a success, while also making special mention of the Pumas.
Argentina posted their first-ever win over New Zealand while they drew twice with Australia.
“The performance of the Argentinian team is quite remarkable if you think about the amount of time they have been away from home and the various quarantine protocols they had to endure,” Marinos said.
“Indeed, a lot of their home-based players had played very little rugby prior to the Tri-Nations.
“Another positive from this competition has been the realisation from the members that if required in future years, the concept of a centralised TRC is very possible with the prospect of double-header rounds a huge benefit for the local fans and wider broadcast audience across the four geographies.”
Double-headers were rescheduled to stand-alone matches following the Springboks’ withdrawal.
South Africa are set to rejoin the competition next year, after recommitting to the southern hemisphere alliance until 2030.
Plans for 2021 include the Rugby Championship being restructured into mini-tours, with teams set to play two matches in one country one year, then two in the other country the following.
Teams usually play Tests against each other in a home and away format.