South Africa’s participation in Rugby Championship not yet confirmed, Newsline

DURBAN – SANZAAR have released the draw for the Rugby Championships to be staged in Australia in November and December despite the fact that South Africa’s participation in the four-nation event is still to be confirmed.

The Springboks are scheduled to begin their defence of the title they won last year with an “away” match against Argentina – in Brisbane – before a “home” game against the Wallabies in Sydney.

There are 12 matches in a tournament that will take place over six weeks — from November 7 to December 12 — in Brisbane, Newcastle and Sydney.

However, according to an SA Rugby statement this morning (Thursday) the Boks’ participation remains conditional on the relaxation of the South African government’s current ban on international sporting participation as well the outcome of assessments of high performance and player welfare issues.

SA Rugby’s CEO Jurie Roux has said more than once that he will rely on the judgement of Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus and Bok coach Jacques Nienaber as to whether the country’s players would be ready for Test rugby in November after a six-month break from playing.

The Boks are scheduled to play back-to-back matches against New Zealand – with an “away” game in Sydney before “hosting” the same opponents in Newcastle – before the tournament returns to Sydney for the final two rounds.

SANZAAR have explained that the incoming teams (Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa) would be required to observe all health regulations around their squads as imposed by the New South Wales (NSW) and Queensland governments.

The teams will be kept separate by operating within a ‘bubble’ during this period with all teams operating in clean environments controlled by NSW police. The wellness of the squads will be continually monitored in line with NSW Heath requirements.

SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said: “It has taken a lot of hard work to get to this point, but we are delighted that we can now confirm the match dates and venues for The Rugby Championship 2020. The Rugby Championship is one of the game’s showpiece events and includes some of the best rugby talent in the world.

“The six double-header Saturdays are a first for the tournament and will produce an exciting feast of rugby for spectators at the venues who will actually be getting two world class international tests for the price of one entry ticket,” added Marinos.

Kick-off times for the double-header matches will be announced in due course.

Rugby Championship 2020 fixtures

Round One Saturday 7 November 2020

Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Argentina v South Africa

Australia v New Zealand

Round Two Saturday 14 November

Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

New Zealand v Argentina

South Africa v Australia

Round Three Saturday 21 November

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

New Zealand v South Africa

Australia v Argentina

Round Four – Saturday 28 November

McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Argentina v Australia

South Africa v New Zealand

Round Five – Saturday 5 December

Bankwest Stadium, Sydney

Argentina v New Zealand

Australia v South Africa

Round Six – Saturday 12 December

ANZ Stadium, Sydney

South Africa v Argentina

Australia v New Zealand

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