Fans are keen to see the Rugby Championship break new ground by being completed in Europe, following the cancellation of the Springboks’ scheduled fixtures in New Zealand.
The original Rugby Championship schedule had the Springboks down to face the Wallabies in two matches in Australia before taking on the All Blacks in Dunedin – the 100th Test between the two nations – and Auckland.
However, New Zealand has been placed in a national lockdown and this led to expectations that all four the Springboks’ remaining matches could be played in Perth.
That option has since been eliminated after New Zealand Rugby (NZR) unilaterally announced the All Blacks’ two Tests against South Africa will not be played in New Zealand, and that the All Blacks would not be flying to Perth this weekend for the third Bledisloe Cup Test, which was scheduled to be played at Optus Stadium on 28 August.
While Sanzaar is still exploring the option of the Rugby Championship proceeding in Australia, it is becoming increasingly likely that the remainder of the tournament could be moved to the northern hemisphere, after an initial report suggested that Europe is seen as a viable alternative venue.
The RFU has already indicated its willingness to enter into negotiations with Sanzaar, but reiterated that an exemption would be required from the UK government in order to host games in England and Wales.
In a poll run by SARugbymag.co.za, fans were given the opportunity to decide where the rest of the Rugby Championship should be played.
The option of moving the tournament to Europe was the most popular of the three, earning 63% of the votes. This would also enable fans to attend matches, unlike in South Africa, which earned only 29% of the vote.
The now-unlikely option of keeping the tournament in Australia was the least popular option, with just 8% of fans wanting to see the rest of the Rugby Champs played in Perth or Queensland.
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