New Zealand to host Rugby Championship 2020

Right Here Right Now 16/07/2020

The 2020 Rugby Championship will be held in New Zealand later this year, should the government approve a deal for the tournament to be staged. 

Governing body SANZAAR says New Zealand is the preferred location for the tournament which would see teams from Australia, South Africa and Argentina enter the country due to "COVID stability within the region". 

But whether the annual southern hemisphere takes place is dependent on the government's approval of the proposal. 

''Critical to this, however, is alignment with the New Zealand Government around its requirements for this to take place,'' says SANZAAR. ''SANZAAR is well advanced in option planning with New Zealand Rugby, which in turn, is now seeking New Zealand Government approval. It is hoped that details on the [Rugby Championship] will be announced in the near future.''

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson supports the idea, but stressed the importance of keeping everyone safe while in New Zealand. 

"We are open to the idea of hosting these international games here, but of course we will need to ensure they can be held safely and we have the appropriate facilities available so that players can isolate and train upon entry to New Zealand," he says. 

"Discussions are underway about this in the context of the Government's wider border and isolation management strategy.

"These kinds of economic opportunities are what we expect given the advantage New Zealand has because of the Government's decision to go hard and early in the response to COVID-19."

A North v South match, which works essentially as an All Blacks trial, is scheduled for August 29 at Eden Park in Auckland, two weeks after the conclusion of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

SANZAAR boss Andy Marinos said further details about the 2020 Rugby Championship will be announced in the near future.