16 Jul 2020

Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship still on the cards for All Blacks

7:35 pm on 16 July 2020

The Rugby Championship will be played over a six-week period running from November to December if plans to host it in New Zealand are approved by the government.

Competition managers SANZAAR have been working on a hub to host the All Blacks, South Africa, Australia and Argentina due to the coronavirus outbreak.

New Zealand Rugby has approached the government for clearance for the sides to come here and chief executive Mark Robinson said a competition format is still be worked through.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read with the Bledisloe Cup and team mates pose for a group photo. New Zealand All Blacks v Australian Wallabies. Bledisloe Cup rugby union test match. Eden Park, Auckland. Saturday 17 August 2019.


"We are looking to play from earlyish November through until early to mid-December, probably across six weeks but the actual format and draws and kick off times and all those sorts of details - it's probably too early to say what that might look like.

Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson has said the government is open to staging all of the games but would need to ensure facilities are available for large squads of players and staff to undergo quarantine and train safely.

"These kinds of economic opportunities are what we expect given the advantage New Zealand has because of the government's decision to go hard and early in the response to Covid-19," Robertson said.

SANZAAR would have to cover the costs for quarantining.

Top flight rugby is yet to resume in South Africa and Argentina but Robinson said they would look at arranging matches for the Springboks and Pumas against New Zealand sides before the rugby championship got under way.

NZ Rugby CEO Mark Robinson.


Robinson said hosting the Rugby Championship doesn't mean there would be any Bledisloe Cup tests between New Zealand and Australia.

"Australia are signalling they would like to host two Bledisloes and we are working through that with them closely. We are going to have to understand if we do play in Australia what that might mean in terms of getting back to New Zealand for quarantine and then being able to go into Rugby Championship and if that can be done."