The RFU has confirmed its interest in hosting Rugby Championship Tests at Twickenham following the implementation of lockdown restrictions in New Zealand and Australia.
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 of 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.
“The RFU is always open to discussion regarding the global calendar and we are aware of the challenges facing the Rugby Championship at the moment, much further consultation is required around player welfare and potential organisational and commercial impacts for all unions therefore it is too early to speculate on any developments,” a spokesperson from England’s RFU told the Daily Telegraph.
Should the move materialise, matches will be played in front of fans at Twickenham in London, Stade de France in Paris, the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff and the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
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