NZR CEO Mark Robinson says there is a possibility South Africa and Argentina could be allowed to conduct preparation for a revised Rugby Championship in New Zealand.
It’s been confirmed by Sanzaar that there are ongoing talks for New Zealand to possibly host a restructured Rugby Championship in one central location later this year.
Safety precautions and border controls are key criteria for any visitors arriving in New Zealand, where the pandemic has been so successfully quelled.
Robinson said it was too early to speculate on how the quarantine would work with the touring sides, and how training might work as they undergo the mandatory 14-day period.
As it is, New Zealand are already well under way with their Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, while Australia have also kick-started their own local version of the tournament.
Fellow Sanzaar partners South Africa and Argentina have been unable to resume competitive action as they look to get the pandemic under control, but Robinson raised the prospect of those two nations playing warm-up matches in New Zealand.
‘Many of their players are playing in the northern hemisphere and there are signs that the game might kick into gear in the northern hemisphere sometime reasonably soon.
‘We’re hopeful they will have rugby under their belts. We’re also entertaining the prospect that they could maybe come to New Zealand and look to have games played here as part of their preparation.
‘The timing of that is yet to be determined but we’re wanting to work with them as much as possible to make sure they can prepare as best they can.’
Robinson added that Argentina and South Africa were ‘very keen to make it work’.
‘It seems they’re all in. With Australia and their proximity and where they’re at with Covid we’ve got greater certainty there.’
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