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SANZAAR partners locked into Rugby Championship until 2025

Tue, 15/02/2022, 10:07 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Wallabies go back to back against the Springboks

SANZAAR has announced Rugby Australia, New Zealand Rugby, South Africa Rugby and Union Argentina Rugby have all committed to the Rugby Championship until the end of 2025.

The deal takes them through to the end of the current broadcast deal and ends speculation about South Africa's departure.

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It had long rumoured the Springboks were eyeing off a move to the Six Nations, particularly after Super Rugby went for a Trans-Tasman model, which resulted in their club sides linking with European competitions.

Whilst SANZAAR Chairman Marcelo Rodriguez acknowledged the speculation, he was pleased to secure four of the top nine nations in the world as part of the ongoing competition.

"The pandemic has created a very unusual sporting environment over the last two years with match and commercial delivery severely affected," he conceded in a statement.

"This has seen the member unions work very hard to keep rugby alive and present during COVID and at times this has not been easy. “Indeed there has been much speculation about the future but it is now great that all members have committed through until the end of 2025 as a minimum.

"This means we can concentrate on ensuring The Rugby Championship remains as one of the best rugby tournaments on the world calendar."

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The Rugby Championship was forced to be held almost entirely in Australia in 2021 as a result of ongoing COVID disruptions.

SANZAAR confirmed in a statement they were hopeful of returning to matches being played in all four countries for 2022.

"Despite the lingering effects of the pandemic, it is planned that The Rugby Championship 2022 will be played in its entirety with a return to matches being played in all four countries," they added.

"Due to the pandemic, the match schedule over the last two years has been severely affected with no matches played in Argentina and only a handful of matches taking place in South Africa and New Zealand. 

"The full 2022 match schedule will be announced in due course.

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