'All options are on the table': How a trans-Tasman competition might proceed even with border restrictions
The Super Rugby Trans-Tasman competition which is set to take place following New Zealand and Australia’s respective leagues is at threat due to the continued border restrictions in place in the two countries.
New Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos has acknowledged that while the competition won’t be able to go ahead in its proposed format if the restrictions remain in place come June, that doesn’t mean the tournament will necessarily be cancelled altogether.
“We’ve got be able to pivot quite quickly, so we are engaging with the Kiwis are looking at how best we can put this together,” Marinos said this week.
“We are largely beholden to what government regulations are going to be at the time but there is certainly an emphasis from both sides to make sure that it happens.”
Under the current rules, teams would be freely able to travel from New Zealand to Australia without needing to isolate upon arrival, but anyone travelling in the other direction would need to spend two weeks in managed quarantine.
At the smallest sign of trouble, Australia have suspended travellers arriving from New Zealand. How confident are the powers that be that Trans-Tasman Super Rugby will go ahead, given the restrictions? #AllBlacks #Wallabies #SuperRugbyhttps://t.co/WXYdtgljq1
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 28, 2021
The current Trans-Tasman schedule would necessitate the teams regularly moving back and forth between the two nations – which wouldn’t be possible at present.
An alternative option would see the competition based entirely in one country – in a similar vein to last year’s Tri-Nations competition, which was hosted in Australia. The relative success of that tournament has opened the door for the powers that be to think outside of the box, said Marinos.
“Who would have contemplated a Rugby Championship being in a centralised hub?”
“All options are on the table. We just want to make sure that we’ve got rugby played and the players get as much exposure as possible.
“If that is an option then we’d certainly consider that.”
An alternative to the Trans-Tasman tournament would likely see the NZ and Australia sides play a third round of their respective competitions.
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