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Rugby Championship still on Sanzaar radar

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6th July, 2020
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Sanzaar bosses haven’t given up on staging a full Rugby Championship this year and say it could unfold inside an Australian eastern seaboard bubble.

Despite the disruption caused by COVID-19, chief executive Andy Marinos wants the Wallabies, All Blacks, Springboks and Pumas all involved in a Rugby Championship starting in October.

Marinos told stuff.co.nz the tournament could run through to December if travel and health restrictions can cater for an eight-week window.

Australia and New Zealand are the likeliest destinations, with the pandemic having taken hold in South Africa and Argentina, preventing any rugby being played since Super Rugby was halted in March.

Western Australia has been touted as a possible “bubble” host for every game but Marinos said Sanzaar would look more closely at the opposite coast.

“If we were going to create any bubbles we would certainly be looking at the eastern seaboard of Australia for that,” Marinos said.

“That’s not to say we couldn’t play a game in Perth, but I think there’s a greater concentration of players, if we were to do that – it would be on the eastern seaboard.”

A schedule must work in with a potential four-match Bledisloe Cup series which is thought to include an opening Test in Wellington on October 10 – probably falling outside the Rugby Championship window.

Meanwhile, Marinos again quashed numerous reports that Super Rugby will be overhauled from 2021, including the shedding of teams from South Africa and Argentina.

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“I have actually been quite bemused by it all because it is more just coming out of certain sectors within New Zealand around not wanting to play in South Africa and wanting to do their own thing,” he said.

“It just seems to be a bit of a chorus in this part of the world (Australasia).”

© AAP