No change in Rugby Championship window - SANZAAR

SANZAAR has confirmed that the Rugby Championship window will not change from 2026
SANZAAR has confirmed that the Rugby Championship window will not change from 2026

SANZAAR has confirmed that there will not be any change in the traditional Rugby Championship window despite the recent comments from Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan.

McLennan during his interview on the Rugby Direct podcast said that Australia are ready to shift the window in alignment with the Six Nations tournament as a part of the global calendar.

The move will also benefit South Africa, who have moved away from the Super Rugby to the United Rugby Championship.

"I worry South Africa will migrate north completely. That would be a disaster for NZR and RA," McLennan told Rugby Direct.

"Ultimately it's going to come down to New Zealand in this instance. We understand the complexities around shifting the provincial competitions. It's not ideal for us, either, but if it keeps the whole ecosystem together and we build assets globally then we're open to it.

"It's going to land on NZR's doorstep, and they've got to decide what they're going to do."

Nevertheless, SANZAAR reiterated McLennan's comment and said there is no plan to move the window from August-September.

"SANZAAR would like to clear up any misunderstanding surrounding the future playing window for The Rugby Championship. This follows an interview with Rugby Australia and current SANZAAR Chairman Hamish McLennan on a New Zealand podcast "Rugby Direct" in which he discussed The Rugby Championship schedule," read the statement.

"SANZAAR can reiterate that until 2026 the existing mini-tour match schedule is locked in. Furthermore, The Rugby Championship window will not change from 2026 with the national unions working on competition models for the August/September window to ensure maximum high performance and commercial outcomes.

"SANZAAR is part of World Rugby's working programme that is exploring the potential creation of a global calendar, and review of playing windows, as part of the Games' work on the wider Regulation 9 (player availability) review. The SANZAAR Executive Committee has agreed The Rugby Championship has to fit into the existing sanctioned World Rugby playing windows for international rugby matches.

"SANZAAR apologises for any confusion on The Rugby Championship playing schedule."