FILE New Zealand's Will Jordan celebrates scoring their second try with teammates. Photo: Darren Pateman/AAP Image via Reuters
FILE New Zealand's Will Jordan celebrates scoring their second try with teammates. Photo: Darren Pateman/AAP Image via Reuters

New Zealand pushing to co-host Rugby Championship

By Reuters Time of article published Mar 30, 2021

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WELLINGTON - New Zealand is looking to co-host this year's Rugby Championship with one of its southern hemisphere partners, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) boss Mark Robinson said on Tuesday, though South Africa has already indicated it is not interested in staging games.

Last year's Rugby Championship (TRC) was held entirely in Australia due to the Covid-19 pandemic although it was rebranded the "Tri-Nations" after world champions South Africa pulled out.

South Africa, which is scheduled to host the British and Irish Lions tour in July-August, does not want to be involved in co-hosting the four-nation TRC, Robinson told reporters in Wellington.

"At this stage, they have signalled that they don't wish to host the Rugby Championship this year,” he said.

"Our view at the moment is there may be a great opportunity to do a co-hosting format.

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"We’ve got games the All Blacks are involved in we’d love to host in New Zealand, so that’ll be something we’re working towards.

"But ultimately that’s a decision for SANZAAR to make with the feedback of its joint venture partners."

Australia has already said it is pushing to host the entire Championship, which is likely to be staged in September-October.

Robinson said New Zealand was focused on hosting the 100th match against the Springboks, 100 years on from their first clash in Dunedin in 1921.

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He added that RNZ would wait another two to three weeks before making a decision on whether to push on with the Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition with Australia's teams.

The five-week tournament is scheduled to start on May 14 in Dunedin but quarantine requirements in New Zealand for travellers from Australia could make it untenable.

New Zealand's Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said earlier this month the country was close to allowing Australians to visit without quarantining on arrival.

Reuters

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