NZ Rugby World
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP STILL ONLY AMBER LIGHT
Australia was awarded the hosting rights to this year's Rugby Championship but doubt still persists as to whether it will go ahead.
As this issue of NZ Rugby World went to print, there were stories emerging out of South Africa that the Springboks were still doubtful about whether they would actually take part.
The world champions were keen to play but not at any price. They had wanted for their players to have at least five or six Currie Cup games behind them before they set off for Australia.
Their top players based in South Africa have not played since Super Rugby shut down in March.
The big hope was that the domestic competition would start in early October but given the state of Covid-19 infections, that was not certain.
Even then, that start date would only afford the players three rounds of action before they had to leave and then quarantine for 14 days.
It was a huge risk and one that many in South Africa felt would ultimately lead to the Boks pulling out.
Former Springbok Breton Paulse told NZME, “I can tell you now, South Africa at the moment things are really quiet, and I've got a feeling that, unfortunately, I don't think South Africa is not going to take part in that. That's my opinion, but in South Africa at the moment it doesn't look like they're going to play.”
The decision to host the tournament in Australia was made after New Zealand, which was the preferred host, was unable to provide satisfactory quarantine arrangements for the visiting teams.
Sanzaar wanted to play in New Zealand but when the Government refused to budge on its position of only allowing teams to train in a maximum bubble of 25 while in quarantine, the tournament shifted to Australia.