SA Rugby: No rift within Sanzaar

SA Rugby president Mark Alexander has denied suggestions that the turmoil in the Rugby Championship schedule has caused a rift within southern-hemisphere alliance Sanzaar.

Sanzaar on Tuesday confirmed that Australian state Queensland will host the remainder of the Rugby Championship after frantic talks to secure a venue for the pandemic-hit tournament.

This follows a dramatic twist in the 2021 edition of the tournament, which was thrown into turmoil due to Covid-19 restrictions in Australia and New Zealand.

New Zealand announced that the planned matches against the Springboks in Auckland and Dunedin at the end of next month had been cancelled and then, without informing their Sanzaar partners, unilaterally issued a media release announcing they would not fly their team to Perth as scheduled for a planned match against the Wallabies.

The remaining Rugby Championship fixtures have since been rescheduled, but over the past week talk has re-emerged that SA Rugby should look to breaking into the Six Nations tournament in the future.

However, SA Rugby boss Alexander said there was no rift between Sanzaar members.

“We have local arguments here, but that doesn’t mean we’re fighting each other. It’s like when we have a meeting,” Alexander explained. “We fight like hell in the boardroom, but when the door is open, the fight is over.

“I don’t think we should read too much into these things, and the media play things up and blow things out of proportion.

“There isn’t a fight within the Sanzaar structures,” he said.

In the championship, the All Blacks and Springboks will play their 100th Test on 25 September in Townsville.

Photo: Gallo Images

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Dylan Jack