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Rugby Championship saved by move to Queensland

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S’bu Nkosi of South Africa scores during the The Rugby Championship match against Australia at Emirates Airline Park in July 2019. Picture: Gordon Arons, Gallo Images

The tournament had been cast into doubt when New Zealand pulled out of their fixture against the Wallabies and called off their home matches against South Africa following a Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland.

DURBAN – SANZAAR has confirmed that the Rugby Championship has been saved after a period of uncertainty and the eight remaining matches will all be played in Queensland, with the Springboks resuming action on Sunday, September 12 with a match against Australia at the CBUS Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

The Boks’ eagerly awaited 100th Test match against old foe New Zealand will take place on September 25 in the northern Queensland city of Townsville.

The tournament had been cast into doubt when New Zealand pulled out of their fixture against the Wallabies (scheduled for this week) and called off their home matches against South Africa because of a clampdown on their borders following a Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland.

SANZAAR CEO Brendan Morris said in a statement “We thought last year was tough when we had to implement a Tri-Nations tournament in Australia with South Africa absent due to the pandemic, but the current disruption caused by the ‘delta variant’ of COVID-19 has seen government authorities tighten up border bio-security measures substantially.

“This is totally understandable but after exploring several options, including moving the tournament to South Africa and even Europe, we now look forward with excitement to the remainder of the Rugby Championship in Queensland.

“We are very excited about this unique format and rugby experience as we look to deliver a month of ‘Double Headers’ with the world’s best players in Queensland, something never done in international rugby before.”

2021 Rugby Championship Match Schedule

Round 1

Saturday 14 August: New Zealand 57 vs Australia 22 [Eden Park, Auckland]

Saturday 14 August: South Africa 32 vs Argentina 12 [Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth]

Round 2

Saturday 21 August: Argentina 29 vs South Africa 10 [Mandela Stadium, Port Elizabeth]

TBC: Australia vs New Zealand: Optus Stadium, Perth**

Round 3

Sunday 12 September: New Zealand vs Argentina: CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Sunday 12 September: South Africa vs Australia: CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Round 4

Saturday 18 September: Argentina vs New Zealand: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Saturday 18 September: Australia vs South Africa: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Round 5

Saturday 25 September: New Zealand vs South Africa: QLD Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Saturday 25 September: Australia vs Argentina: QLD Country Bank Stadium, Townsville

Round 6

Saturday 2 October: South Africa vs New Zealand: CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast

Saturday 2 October: Argentina vs Australia: CBUS Super Stadium, Gold Coast

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