New Zealand Rugby CEO Mark Robinson confirmed SANZAAR’s approach to New Zealand hosting the six-week Rugby Championship from early November to mid-December. The Championship was initially scheduled to be played between August and September, and that the games will take place in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina. With most international borders closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Robinson said New Zealand has been identified as the preferred host due to “Covid stability in the region”
“It is an important opportunity for the game here, and for the entire country, we are excited and eager to start working with stakeholders, especially the government, to see what we can do,” he said.
“We are looking to play from the beginning of November to the beginning and the middle of December, probably for six weeks. The actual format, the draws and the start times is too early to say with any certainty. “
All Blacks head coach Ian Foster said it was an exciting opportunity for New Zealand, but he was sorry for other countries that have been hit by Covid-19.
“While we feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position, we truly feel sorry for our Championship friendly countries in these difficult times. We are determined to make the most of this opportunity for our rugby partners and make this a fantastic Championship for everyone. ”
Sports and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said the government was open to the idea of organizing international matches. “But of course we will have to make sure that they can be kept safely, and have adequate facilities available so that players can isolate themselves and train when entering New Zealand.”