New Zealand may have lost out on hosting the Rugby Championship, but the Wallabies will travel to New Zealand to play two Bledisloe Cup matches in October.
Sanzaar confirmed on Friday that Australia would be hosting the 2020 edition of the tournament, which had initially looked likely to be played in New Zealand.
The tournament will comprise a six-week, 12-match, ‘home and away’ tournament involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
Reports in New Zealand suggest that the country’s strict quarantine regulations was the deal breaker that made Sanzaar opt for Australia as host nation. Under New Zealand lockdown regulations, teams would not have been allowed to train on arrival in the country and squads were set to be restricted to 25 players in the bio bubble.
With Australia now hosting the tournament, teams will be allowed to train together from day one and South Africa, for example, will be allowed to bring its full 45-man squad.
In a statement, NZR says its looking forward to the resumption of international rugby following confirmation from Sanzaar that the Rugby Championship will be staged in Australia, but that there is disappointment at missing out on hosting the competition.
‘We’re obviously disappointed at the decision to not have New Zealand host the tournament, but we understand and accept it,’ Robinson said. ‘Now that the decision has been made, we’re looking forward to seeing the All Blacks again take on the best of the southern hemisphere.’
‘We worked incredibly hard behind the scenes with a whole range of stakeholders, including Sanzaar and the New Zealand government, to ensure we were ready and able to host the Championship and we felt we were. We’d like to thank everyone involved for working so hard on the planning to have the tournament here.’
Robinson did confirmed Kiwi rugby fans will still get the chance to see the All Blacks play at home before the Rugby Championship, with the Wallabies set to travel to New Zealand to play two Bledisloe Cup matches in October before the All Blacks head to Australia for the Championship.
‘Those two matches will be massive for our fans and the All Blacks. We know that the Bledisloe Cup is the pinnacle of trans-Tasman rivalry and there will be huge anticipation ahead of those matches,’ Robinson said.
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