NZ 'no-fly' restriction forces Sanzaar to adjust Rugby Championship schedule
New Zealand’s decision to suspend travel to and from Australia has resulted in a review of the fixtures for this year’s Rugby Championship.
Sanzaar‚ the tournament organisers‚ said it would review its options after the decision by the New Zealand government to suspend travel between New Zealand and Australia for eight weeks from 11.59pm on Friday‚ due to the pandemic.
The Springboks‚ who did not participate in last year’s tournament‚ which was hosted in Australia‚ are currently scheduled to play the All Blacks in New Zealand in the final week of September and first week of October – just after the conclusion of the eight-week period.
However‚ other Rugby Championship matches involving the competing teams are scheduled within the “no-fly” period.
“The Rugby Championship is scheduled to be played primarily in New Zealand and Australia over the next two months‚ with the first two matches to be played in South Africa between the Springboks and Pumas‚” said Sanzaar chief executive Brendan Morris.
“Following these opening two matches‚ both teams then travel to Australia and New Zealand for the remainder of the tournament.
“Sanzaar and its member unions – Rugby Australia‚ New Zealand Rugby‚ SA Rugby and Argentina Rugby Union – will now work with the respective governments and health authorities in Australia and New Zealand‚ as we have successfully done recently with Super Rugby‚ to find the best solutions for the tournament given this latest development.”
Sanzaar said it would announce any potential and necessary changes to the Rugby Championship schedule in due course.