Blow for NZ as Aussies pinch Rugby Championship

Publish Date
Friday, 11 September 2020, 11:18AM
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By: Liam Napier

Australia will be announced as this year's Rugby Championship hosts later today.

The Herald has been told that New South Wales has pinched the four nations tournament from New Zealand and it will be hosted from November 7.

Sanzaar, who initially said New Zealand was the preference to host the tournament, will make an official announcement on Friday afternoon.

Australia is believed to have secured the tournament on the basis of having superior quarantine regulations in regards to allowing teams to train while in isolation.

Australian federal and state governments are also thought to have stumped up to lure the tournament away from New Zealand.

Following three months of detailed planning, difficulties negotiating with the New Zealand Government around strict quarantine regulations for visiting teams had left NZ Rugby frustrated.

It is understood the need to isolate without training for a set number of days, and restrictions around the size of bubbles thereafter, were the major sticking points that swung the tournament in Australia's favour.

With both South Africa and Argentina yet to resume rugby in their respective countries, the ability to train as a squad from the day of arrival was a key selling point for Australia.

Australia's pitch is believed to centre on 50 to 75 per cent crowd capacity.

With Australia securing the rights to host the Rugby Championship, the Herald understands first two Bledisloe Cup matches will now be pushed back one week and staged on October 17 and 24, likely to be in Auckland and Wellington.

The All Blacks would then venture to Australia for the Rugby Championship.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission