Springboks to defend Rugby Championship crown in November, December

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is presented the Webb Ellis Cup by Japan's Crown Prince Akishino.
Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is presented the Webb Ellis Cup by Japan's Crown Prince Akishino.
Image: Springboks/Twitter

The Springboks look set to defend their Rugby Championship crown in November and December of this year.

World Rugby announced proposed dates for a revamped international calendar and it includes a slot from 7 November to 12 December for the Rugby Championship to be contested.

The staging of the proposed five-week tournament is‚ however‚ contingent on external factors such as travel restrictions and quarantine regulations.

The entire tournament is likely to be played in New Zealand who are less afflicted by the scourge of the coronavirus.

But the revamped schedule means there will be no end of year tour for the Springboks‚ the All Blacks‚ the Wallabies and Los Pumas as that slot had to be reallocated.

The remaining Six Nations matches will be played in the last two weeks of October before attention shifts to the traditional autumn internationals in November.

The Boks and their southern hemisphere rivals will be engaged in combat against each other at that time.

End of year tours don’t generate funds for the visiting unions and not travelling north may be a way of limiting their losses.

The autumn matches are likely to be all European affairs but a team consisting of players from the Pacific island nations who ply their trade in Europe could also potentially crack the nod.

To facilitate all this World Rugby’s council will make a temporary change to the rules governing players’ release‚ which will oblige clubs to make players available for that entire block and in effect amounts to two Test windows.

“The rescheduling means clubs will have access to their star southern hemisphere players for the completion of their seasons when they would ordinarily have been on international duty‚” World Rugby said in a statement.

“Recognising the importance of a balanced and shared compromise among all stakeholders‚ a temporary international window between October 24 and December 5 has been recommended.”

The revamped calendar as recommended by World Rugby’s executive committee requires rubberstamping by their council on July 30.

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