Hope for Aus-based Rugby Champs as Boks, Pumas entry ‘fast-tracked’

The Springboks and Argentina may still be able to complete their remaining Rugby Championship fixtures in Queensland as their approval to enter the country has reportedly been fast-tracked.

On Friday, another dramatic chapter was added to the Rugby Championship planning schedule, which has been thrown into turmoil due to new Covid-19 regulations in Australia and New Zealand.

In a statement, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) unilaterally announced the All Blacks’ two home Rugby Championship 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.

There have been suggestions that the remaining fixtures could be played in South Africa, where both the Springboks and Argentina are based after playing their two fixtures against each other. There has also been talk that the groundbreaking move could be made to move the tournament to Europe, with speculation that Cardiff, Dublin, London and Paris could stage double-headers.

However, the Sydney Morning Herald has reported that there is still hope that Queensland could host the Rugby Championship.

This comes as Queensland has reportedly fast-tracked a proposal to approve the Springboks and Los Pumas’ entry into Australia and into a “managed isolation”.

“Queensland is absolutely a priority for us. Until such time that we cannot make it work, that’s the priority,” Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos told the Herald.

“We are working very hard to get all the approval and assurances done. The Queensland government have been fantastic in working alongside us.

“There was never any doubt about whether we could play there. It was just doubt that we could get South Africa and Argentina through managed isolation.”


Photo: Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack