Mon, 26 Oct 2020

Rugby Australia's (RA) new boss says Sanzaar is planning a Rugby Championship series played in an Australian 'hub' in October, New Zealand's Stuff website reports.

Rob Clarke - who replaced Raelene Castle as Rugby Australia chief executive - said if the Rugby Championship plan did not go ahead, he was confident of a home-and-away Bledisloe Cup series between the All Blacks and the Wallabies.

Clarke told Sydney's Sunday Telegraph newspaper that there was "absolute commitment'' from Sanzaar to a "hub-based TRC (The Rugby Championship)".

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

Clarke said if international travel restrictions prevented South Africa and Argentina flying to Australia, RA was "well down the path in discussions with New Zealand, for a three or four Test match Bledisloe series both home and away."

He said a Bledisloe series would rely on a trans-Tasman bubble to allow travel between the two countries.

"Based on what the governments are saying, it's a reasonable assumption."

The Springboks will be keen listeners to what exactly lockdown Level 3 entails. At this stage it appears unlikely that contact sport will be allowed to recommence any time soon.

An October-November Rugby Championship would spell the end of this year's planned end of year tour to Europe where the Springboks where due to play Italy, Ireland, France and Wales between November 7-28.

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