Sanzaar reportedly wants to prioritise Test rugby over the restart of the Vodacom Super Rugby season and has identified Perth as the perfect host city for a shortened Rugby Championship tournament.
The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Rugby Australia, New Zealand Rugby, SA Rugby and the Argentina Rugby Union were locked in discussions before agreeing that the Championship should take priority above all else.
Sanzaar initially hoped that the Rugby Championship would go ahead as planned, but that idea is near impossible due to the coronavirus health pandemic.
Instead, the governing body is now investigating the possibility of hosting a six-week Championship campaign based in one city. Perth is being touted as the ideal host city because its time zone suits South Africa and Argentina better, and also because New Zealand and South Africa have strict lockdowns and travel measures in place amid Covid-19.
Rugby Australia’s general manager, Ben Whitaker, who was involved in the discussions with the other Sanzaar nations, confirmed that the focus was on the Test season.
‘There is definitely a collective commitment to prioritising Test match footy,’ Whitaker confirmed.
‘But we are also committed to community safety, first and foremost. We roll off the back of that. But we are ready with different formats. Hopefully that’s sooner rather than later.
”As soon as we get the OK from a community perspective to go, we will go. If that means going into November or December depending on where we get to with July Tests, we will consider that as well. Everyone is ready.’
However, it remains unclear under what format the Championship will be played should Sanzaar’s plan to undertake a six-week competition in one city succeed.