Another twist to the Rugby Champs
SPOTLIGHT: New reports suggest that Australia might be favourites to host the Rugby Championship.
A meeting is scheduled to be held by SANZAAR, the governing body of the Rugby Championship and Super Rugby, on Thursday, with a decision on the future of the competitions reportedly set to be announced this weekend.
New Zealand has been in the box seat to host the Rugby Championship, in which Australia, South Africa and Argentina because of its first success in containing the virus.
SANZAAR were keen on hosting the championship in a ‘hub’ and play matches over a six-week period in order fulfil broadcast commitments.
However, given New Zealand’s resurgence of infections in Auckland last month, alternative plans have been looked at.
According to the Sydney Morning, Herald there is a strong chance Australia could pinch the Rugby Championship from New Zealand due to ‘superior commercial modelling and quarantine conditions,’
Queensland and NSW have been touted as host venues, while the New Zealand government hasn’t exactly given a resounding tick of approval to welcome visiting teams for rugby Tests as it navigates through the second wave of coronavirus cases.
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World Rugby has allocated the Rugby Championship a Test window between November 7 and December 12.
However, there have been doubts over whether the Championship itself will go ahead, due to logistical issues in getting Argentina and South Africa to either New Zealand or Australia in time for the tournament’s start date.
Furthermore, the news over the weekend that six players from the Pumas tested positive for Covid-19 added fresh doubts over the likelihood of the four-nation tournament going ahead.
In terms of South Africa, the Springboks are only set to return to regular action in a South African domestic tournament on October 10.
Time is certainly against the World Cup champions, who will have to travel to Australasia by October 18 to comply with quarantine conditions and therefore could be inadequately prepared for the tournament.
Speaking on Sky Sport‘s The Breakdown the All Blacks legend Sir John Kirwan called out the New Zealand Government over the roadblocks around creating a tournament to bring teams into the country to face the national rugby side.
“What’s upset me the most is we’ve created an amazing environment in New Zealand. Even this last lockdown was only in Auckland,” Kirwan said.
“Our Prime Minister said the other day it can happen. I don’t know why the tournament is not here. How can Fiji go to London? Why aren’t we having this competition in New Zealand with England, with whoever it is?
“We’ve made all this sacrifice to make it the safest country in the world and what is happening? I heard it’s going to be in Brisbane. Like I said, Fiji is going North. What is happening?”
Source: SydneyMorning Herald & Rugbypass