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Sanzaar confident about running 2020 Rugby Championship

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Sanzaar, the body which oversees Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship competitions between the South African, Australian, New Zealand and Argentinian rugby unions, is positive that the 2020 Rugby Championship tournament can still go ahead, suggesting October as a start date.

Andy Marinos, chief executive of Sanzaar, told New Zealand news site Stuff the proposed competition could run from October to December, if travel and health restrictions can support an eight-week tournament window.

Australia and New Zealand were cited by Marinos as the destinations most likely to host the games, as Covid-19 is still not fully contained in both South Africa and Argentina.

While Western Australia has previously been flagged as a possible “bubble” host for every game, Marinos said Sanzaar would look more closely at the eastern seaboard of Australia to establish a Covid-19 free quarantine hub.

“Obviously the biggest elephant, or anomaly, in the room is what sort of restrictions that could come in. So we always have to be guarded by governments and health authorities around that,” Marinos said.

Marinos also dispelled reports that Super Rugby will be revamped in 2021. “I have actually been quite bemused by it all because it is more just coming out of certain sectors within New Zealand around not wanting to play in South Africa and wanting to do their own thing,” he said.

After their success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand and Australia have launched domestic mini-league Super Rugby competitions. The New Zealand league has no restriction on the number of fans attending matches.