The 2021 Rugby Championship will reach conclusion after all, with it now being confirmed that Australia will host the remainder of the tournament. It is hoped that the third Bledisloe Cup Test – which was set for Perth on 4 September – will be honoured as originally scheduled.
The rest of the scheduled matches will be played in the Queensland region in a series of double-headers in Brisbane, Townsville and on the Gold Coast.
SANZAAR boss Brendan Morris highlighted how challenging things have been in light of the pandemic:
“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 biosecurity measures substantially,” he said, speaking to theguardian.com.
“This is understandable and therefore, we had no option but to basically move the remainder of the Rugby Championship to Queensland. On behalf of Sanzaar and the national unions, I would like to sincerely thank the Queensland government for working with us around the clock to provide a travel, accommodation, training and playing environment that will safely allow us to complete the tournament.”
Rugby Championship schedule (times to be announced):
Saturday, 14 August: New Zealand 57 bt Australia 22 at Eden Park, Auckland
Saturday, 14 August: South Africa 32 bt Argentina 12 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday, 21 August: South Africa 29 bt Argentina 10 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Date TBC: Australia v New Zealand - Optus Stadium, Perth*
Sunday, 12 September: New Zealand v Argentina, South Africa v Australia at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Saturday, 18 September: Argentina v New Zealand, Australia v South Africa at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Saturday, 25 September: Australia v Argentina, New Zealand v South Africa at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Saturday, 2 October: Argentina v Australia, South Africa v New Zealand at Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
*doubles as third Bledisloe Cup match