South Africa offers to host remainder of Rugby Championship

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WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 27: The Springboks stand for the national anthem during the 2019 Rugby Championship Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Westpac Stadium on July 27, 2019 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Anthony Au-Yeung/Getty Images)

South Africa has offered to host the remainder of the Rugby Championship matches following the cancellation of the Springboks’ fixtures in New Zealand.

The reigning world champions were scheduled to play the All Blacks in Dunedin and Auckland on September 25 and October 2, but New Zealand announced that the matches had been cancelled.

FILE PHOTO: The Springboks stand for the national anthem during the 2019 Rugby Championship Test Match between New Zealand and South Africa at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand. /Getty Images

The cancellation resulted from the New Zealand government’s directive that the Springboks would not be able to enter to play the matches due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) then announced they would not fly their team to Perth for the third Bledisloe Cup Test against Australia scheduled for Saturday at Optus Stadium.

South Africa and Argentina had been due to travel to Australasia on Sunday after their game on Saturday for the remainder of the competition to play Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand and Australia.

However, those plans have been put on hold until a new schedule for the tournament is confirmed.

With the tournament now in disarray, SA Rugby said South Africa was “ready and able” to host the remainder of the competition pending government approval.

“We are now well-versed in turning on rugby Tests within the prevailing COVID restrictions and have the venues and accommodation necessary. We just need the go-ahead,” SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux said.

SANZAAR, the body that oversees the competition, said it was considering a range of options – including the hosting of the event in South Africa – and would make an announcement once all logistical, commercial, and broadcasting considerations had been considered.

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