Staying put! Boost for South as Springboks commit to The Rugby Championship

The Rugby Championship
by Christy Doran

In a massive boost for Southern Hemisphere rugby, the world champion Springboks have committed to playing in The Rugby Championship until at least 2030.

The news, revealed by SANZAAR on Wednesday, will help the health and security of Southern Hemisphere rugby.

Of the nine World Cups played since 1987, eight have been won by the south (New Zealand 3, South Africa 3, Australia 2) while the north’s sole win came from England in 2003.

“The re-commitment by the four Union to the long-term future of the international game is an important start as embark in a new direction for both the Unions and the organisation over the coming years,” SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said.

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SANZAAR also revealed that the future of its domestic Super Rugby competition would, as expected, take a new direction.

What that new direction is has yet to be set in stone, but it’s more than likely that South Africa’s Super Rugby teams will permanently relocate to join Europe’s PRO14 competition.

“The Southern Hemisphere rugby powers have recognised the need for change in these difficult times and have committed to an international rugby future through to 20130 that includes a restructuring of the SANZAAR entity, a brand refresh, new development initiatives and a restructuring of domestic club/provincial tournament structures,” the SANZAAR statement read.

Already, the Bulls, Stormers, Lions and Sharks will take part in an expanded PRO16 next season following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby have been locked in discussions for months about a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition.

While COVID-19 looks likely to slow a fully integrated trans-Tasman competition for 2021, a crossover following each respective union’s season is likely to take place next year.

At that point, it’s likely a trans-Tasman competition, possibly involving a Pacifica team and involvement from Asia, could occur.

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