Rugby Championship to kick-start on 31st October

New Zealand will face Australia in the tournament opener
New Zealand will face Australia in the tournament opener
©PA

SANZAAR has confirmed that the Rugby Championship tournament's schedule has been modified as the competition will now commence on 31st October.

The decision follows after New Zealand Rugby expressed their concern over the original schedule which saw the competition scheduled from 7th November which meant the players had to be in mandatory quarantine period during the Christmas time.

As a result, the 12th December game between Australia and New Zealand will be played on 31st October at ANZ Stadium in Sydney with no changes in the other schedules as Argentina and South Africa will play their first game on 7th November.

"The opening of the travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand from New Zealand and an agreement by the parties on revised commercial outcomes has enabled the joint venture to consider alternative solutions in addressing our two key objectives of commercial viability and player welfare," read a statement from SANZAAR.

“Rugby Australia and SANZAR, with the support of the NSW Government, South Africa, Argentina and New Zealand, have been proactive in putting numerous workable solutions forward that have now enabled us to adjust the draw.

"The final revised draw will see the Australia v New Zealand match originally scheduled for the 12th December as a double-header at ANZ Stadium moved to 31st October at ANZ Stadium as a stand-alone game. The South Africa v Argentina match as planned on the 12th December at ANZ Stadium has been moved to the McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle.

“This year has been a year of continued adjustment where the SANZAAR partners have had to compromise on a number of levels. It is important to further acknowledge the sacrifice of a number of the players and team management that will have been away from home for close to six months by the time The Rugby Championship has concluded. This is again a testament to the strong values that encompass our game"

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