Springboks vs All Blacks in London a possibility
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DURBAN – It is far from impossible that the mouth-watering 100th Test match between the Springboks and the All Blacks could be played before a sold-out Twickenham audience because of growing fears that the Australian and New Zealand governments are about to close their borders to the Rugby Championship.
The Boks and Pumas are due to board a flight to Perth next week for Rugby Championship fixtures -- after they play their Championship match in Gqeberha on Saturday -- but it has been reported that organisers Sanzaar are busy discussing moving the entire Championship away from Australiasia, where recent outbreaks of Covid-19 have set alarm bells ringing.
New Zealand and Australia have incredibly strict protocols regulating entry into their countries and with Europe opening up to “normalcy” -- with crowds now attending all sports events -- the case for staging the Championship in London is a compelling one indeed.
Originally, the centenary Test between the All Blacks and the Boks was scheduled for Dunedin in New Zealand on September 25, with a follow-up the next week in Auckland.
Then the talk was of having these two matches played in Perth, following the Boks’ two imminent matches against the Wallabies, but now Europe is very much on the cards as Covid cases rise in Australia.
Should the South Africa- New Zealand match take place at Twickenham, the 80 000 tickets would sell out in an instant given the vast ex-patriot populations of both countries in England.
That would make the occasion all the more special, not to mention lucrative for SA Rugby who are reeling from the massive loss of income suffered because of the empty stadiums of the Lions tour.
It has been reported that SA Rugby and their Sanzaar partners will reach a verdict on the venue for the Championship in the next 48 to 72 hours.