Tue, 07 Jul 2020

SA Rugby CEO Jurie Roux is open to the idea of a shortened Rugby Championship being played in Australia later this year.

On Sunday, new Rugby Australia boss Rob Clarke revealed that Sanzaar is planning a Rugby Championship series to be played in an Australian "hub".

According to Clarke, there was "absolute commitment" from Sanzaar to stage a "hub-based TRC [The Rugby Championship]" towards the end of the year.

"We can do it in the October-November time frame," he said.

"If we can fly international teams into a hub like Australia that sits in the middle of our territories, and put together a competition structure that might well be more towards a Rugby World Cup-type structure where there might be midweek games and weekend games, try to condense it as much as possible, we're looking at that as a potential solution."

Responding to the news on Monday, Roux said that in the interest of providing entertainment for a rugby-starved public they weren't ruling anything out, even if it meant playing the entire Rugby Championship on foreign soil.

"The important thing for us is to get back to playing and providing rugby and entertainment for all our stakeholders who are hungry to see our teams back on the field," Roux said.

"That means we're looking at a range of options and nothing is ruled out by us, although what we do end up with will largely be determined by the state of the pandemic and the government response in all territories."

For such an event to occur in Australia later this year, travel between South Africa and Australia would once again have to be permitted, while several health and safety measures would need to be put in place.

"Any solution will have player health, welfare and appropriate return-to-play protocols at heart," Roux added.

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