Boks-Pumas to conclude Rugby Champs

The Springboks have been named to play Argentina on 12 December in a revised Rugby Championship schedule released on Thursday.

Sanzaar and tournament hosts Rugby Australia announced on Thursday that the 12-match tournament will now be played across seven weeks with Australia’s clash with New Zealand moved from 12 December to 31 October at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.

South Africa’s Test against Argentina on 12 December has been moved to Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium to close out the tournament.

The remainder of the draw is otherwise unchanged with five straight weeks of double-headers beginning at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Saturday, 7 November. Kick-off times have also been confirmed.

Despite the fact SA Rugby has yet to confirm the Springboks’ participation, Sanzaar’s statement suggested ‘the Springboks are set to play for the first time since they became world champions at the World Cup in Japan last year when they face Argentina on match-day two. Saturday, 7 November will also mark the first time that tier-one nations will have ever faced off in a Test match double-header’.

Sanzaar CEO Andy Marinos said: ‘The opening of the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand from New Zealand and an agreement by the parties on revised commercial outcomes have enabled the joint venture to consider alternative solutions in addressing our two key objectives of commercial viability and player welfare.

‘Rugby Australia and Sanzaar, with the support of the NSW Government, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand, have been proactive in putting numerous workable solutions forward that have now enabled us to adjust the draw.

‘This year has been a year of continued adjustment where the Sanzaar partners have had to compromise on a number of levels. It is important to further acknowledge the sacrifice of a number of the players and team management that will have been away from home for close to six months by the time the Rugby Championship has concluded. This is again a testament to the strong values that encompass our game.

‘I would also like to thank our rights-holding broadcasters for accommodating this late change and for continuing to support us through these challenges as well as the New South Wales Government for its support and flexibility with regard to the tournament and match venues.

‘The 12-match Rugby Championship is now all set for kick-off. The Argentina Pumas have already arrived in Australia and we all look forward to an exciting and vibrant tournament that will undoubtedly showcase the best of southern hemisphere rugby,’ added Marinos.

The Argentina team has already arrived in Australia and is completing training under strict health regulations, governed by NSW Health and NSW Police.

South Africa’s participation remains to be confirmed as the decision is dependent on several factors outside the control of Sanzaar. However, it is a positive sign that the Super Rugby Unlocked tournament kicks off in South Africa on Friday, 9 October.

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Revised draw for The Rugby Championship 2020

Match-day one – Saturday, 31 October
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
19:45 AEDT – Australia vs New Zealand

Match-day two – Saturday, 7 November
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
17:00 AEDT – Argentina vs South Africa
19:45 AEDT – Australia vs New Zealand

Match-day three – Saturday, 14 November
Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
17:00 AEDT – New Zealand vs Argentina
19:45 AEDT – South Africa vs Australia

Match-day four – Saturday, 21 November
ANZ Stadium, Sydney
17:00 AEDT – New Zealand vs South Africa
19:45 AEDT – Australia vs Argentina

Match-day five – Saturday, 28 November
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
17:00 AEDT – Argentina vs Australia
19:45 AEDT – South Africa vs New Zealand

Match-day six – Saturday, 5 December
Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
17:00 AEDT – Argentina vs New Zealand
19:45 AEDT – Australia vs South Africa

Match-day seven – Saturday, 12 December
McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
19:45 AEDT – South Africa vs Argentina

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