SANZAAR chief Andy Marinos has insisted his proposal to play Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship at the same time in 2020 is “not trying to rubbish one for the other”. Marinos told Newshub that his plan was designed to find a way out of the restrictions being imposed on the sport in the southern hemisphere by the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, that idea would take international players out of Super Rugby and effectively downgrade the competition with attention naturally focussed on the Rugby Championship rather than occupy its usual standalone position in the rugby calendar.
“Could you be playing the Rugby Championship at the same time as a domestic competition?” queried Marinos. “It’s not trying to rubbish one for the other, it’s how do we get a sensible solution in what may be a restricted time frame?”
With the rival Australian NRL aiming to be the first sport back in action after the virus outbreak, Marinos doesn’t want union to fall behind in delivering a workable product for TV to ensure revenue for the sport. The plans for Super Rugby’s restart include basing the Japanese Sunwolves in Australia and the Argentine Jaguares in South Africa.
“Logic would suggest if there is an ability to create like what we have seen with the NRL around a bubble, if it’s all in one location it seems a bit easier,” added the SANZAAR CEO. “At this point in time, we’d be silly to rule out anything. We are hell bent and have every intention of delivering the complete package.”
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Meanwhile, Springbok boss Jacques Nienaber has revealed that World Cup winners Malcolm Marx and RG Snyman are still in Japan and have not been able to return to South Africa because of the international travel restrictions in place.
The Springboks first matches under their new head coach are due to happen in July against Scotland and Georgia, although these games are in serious doubt due to the pandemic affecting travel.
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