Shock relocation for remainder of Rugby Champs?

Both South Africa and surprise venues in Europe have been reportedly touted as alternative options for hosting Rugby Championship matches following renewed Covid-19 concerns in Australia and New Zealand.

Initially, fresh doubts were recently cast over Rugby Championship matches, including those involving the Springboks, being able to take place in Perth.

After the match against Argentina at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this weekend, the Boks were set to head to Australia, with the most recent expectation being that all four of their overseas matches could be played in Perth.

However, on Wednesday, Western Australia premier Mark McGowan cast doubts over the prospect of Perth hosting such fixtures, with New Zealanders flying into Perth currently having to serve a two-week quarantine period.

Meanwhile, New Zealand has been placed in a national lockdown as a coronavirus cluster grew to 21, with a strong link discovered to a case at the border, apparently related to a Sydney flight.

Sanzaar are now escalating contingency planning to determine where the remaining Rugby Championship matches could be played.

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One option is said to possibly even be a consideration of relocating the matches to South Africa, where the British & Irish Lions tour was just successfully hosted behind closed doors.

However, such travel requirements would seem unlikely to be approved by New Zealand and Australia.

It’s now been reported by RugbyPass that Sanzaar are even weighing up shifting the Rugby Championship to Europe for the remainder of the competition, with double-headers potentially being planned for Paris, London, Dublin and Cardiff.

Reports suggest it could be possible to travel from New Zealand and Australia to the UK via Singapore without any isolating or quarantine required upon arrival in Europe.

Such a relocation would mark the first time that a Tri-Nations or Rugby Championship match took place outside of the Sanzaar countries, but it does offer significant commercial appeal and the potential for fans to attend the matches.

It has also been reported that Queensland could become another alternative option, with Rugby Australia reported to have been in talks with government to move most of the remaining Rugby Championships games to the northeast state.

Time is now of the essence, with Sanzaar set to make an announcement as soon as possible.

Post by

Craig Lewis