Queensland will host Rugby Championship doubleheaders
Following a Covid-mandated schedule modification, Queensland will host eight of the remaining Rugby Championship Tests.
Lockdowns are currently in place in New Zealand and Australia, with the All Blacks cancelling two games last week, including their Bledisloe Cup encounter in Perth.
Queensland, on the other hand, has been considered safe to host all four nations because of its lack of coronavirus.
From the 12th of September, the new matches will be double-headers spread out across four weekends.
On 14 August, the championship began with the hosts beating the Wallabies 57-22 at Eden Park in New Zealand.
South Africa next hosted two games against Argentina, winning both to take the lead in the standings, until the competition was jeopardised by New Zealand’s emergency lockdown following the country’s first coronavirus case in six months, which resulted in cancellations.
The upcoming rounds will now be held in three locations across Queensland, with the exception of the Australia-New Zealand match, which will continue to be held in Perth on an as-yet-undetermined date.
On September 12, the Gold Coast will host a back-to-back double-header of New Zealand against Argentina and Australia against South Africa in round three, as well as the round six ties.
The remaining rounds will be held in Brisbane and Townsville, respectively.
“We thought last year was difficult when we had to put on a Tri-Nations tournament in Australia with South Africa missing because of the pandemic,” said Brendan Morris, chief executive of Sanzaar, the tournament organizers.
“However, due to the current inconvenience created by the Delta version of Covid-19, government authorities have significantly tightened border biosecurity checks.”
“We didn’t have a choice but to shift the rest of the Rugby Championship to Queensland.”
Meanwhile, New Zealand Rugby has extended coach Ian Foster’s contract until the 2023 World Cup.