The Rugby Championship was initially scheduled to be played between August and September with games taking place in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina. With most international borders closed due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, Robinson said New Zealand has been identified as a preferred host due to “Covid stability in the region”
“It’s a significant opportunity for the game here, and for the entire country which we’re excited about and eager to begin work with a number of key stakeholders, most notably the Government, to see what we can make happen,” he said.
“We’re looking to play from early-ish November until early to mid December, probably across six weeks. The actual format and draws and kickoff times, it’s too early to say with much certainty.”
All Blacks Head Coach Ian Foster said it was an exciting opportunity for New Zealand but felt for other countries who have been hit hard by Covid-19.
“While we feel incredibly fortunate to be in this position, we really feel for our fellow Rugby Championship nations in these challenging times. We are determined to make the most of this opportunity for our rugby partners and make this a fantastic Championship for everyone.”
Sports and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson said the Government was open to the idea of hosting the international matches. “But, of course, we will need to ensure they can be held safely, and we have the appropriate facilities available so that players can isolate and train upon entry to New Zealand.”