‘Mini-tour’ format confirmed as the Rugby Championship schedule is confirmed | Rugby

The Rugby Championship organizers have wound the clock back and adopted a mini-tour format for at least the next three years saying it will restore “rugby’s traditional touring values”.

South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina will still play each other twice but the home and away structure has been abandoned, the competition’s controlling body SANZAAR said Thursday.

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Instead each team will host a two-match tour and play an away two-match tour with only the third set of matches, involving New Zealand against Australia and South Africa against Argentina, remaining home-and-away.

When revealing the match venues for 2022, SANZAAR said the mini-tour is locked in until the end of 2025 and the new format reduced the travel component of the championship alleviating player welfare concerns.

“The Rugby Championship is one of world rugby’s premier tournaments and sees four of the top eight international teams go toe-to-toe each year. The tournament has proved to be an important stepping stone to Rugby World Cup success for southern hemisphere teams but there is always room for improvement and innovation and the agreed move to a mini-tour concept by all stakeholders is an exciting one,” SANZAAR boss Brendan Morris said in a statement.

“It reinstates the touring traditions of rugby which previously have been an integral part of our game and will prove popular we believe with players, fans and broadcasters alike. Feedback from the teams has been very positive and the enthusiasm for the new concept is sure to build as we get nearer to the kick-off, of TRC “This year also sees the long-awaited return of The Rugby Championship to all our participating territories as over the last few years we have had, for obvious reasons, pandemic restrictions placed on travel and player movements.

“This year we are fully operational in Australia, Argentina, South Africa and New Zealand which is fantastic for the tournament.”

The competition this year begins with World Cup winners South Africa hosting Rugby Championship title-holders New Zealand on August 6 in Nelspruit and in Johannesburg on August 13.

On the same dates, Argentina will host Australia in Mendoza and San Juan.

On August 27 and September 3, New Zealand play Argentina in Christchurch and Hamilton while Australia play South Africa in Adelaide and Sydney.

In the final rounds, on September 15 and 24, New Zealand play Australia in Melbourne and Auckland while South Africa play Argentina in Buenos Aires and Durban.

The eToro Rugby Championship 2022 (kick off all local time)


Saturday 6 August

South Africa v New Zealand, Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit, 5.05pm

Argentina v Australia, Estadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza, 4.05pm


Saturday 13 August

South Africa v New Zealand, Emirates Airlines Park, Johannesburg, 5.05pm

Argentina v Australia, Bicentenario Stadium, San Juan, 4.05pm


Saturday 27 August

Australia v South Africa, Adelaide Oval, Adelaide, 3pm

New Zealand v Argentina, Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, 7.45pm


Saturday 3 September

New Zealand v Argentina, FMG Stadium Waikato, 7.05pm

Australia v South Africa, Allianz Stadium, Sydney, 7.35pm


Thursday 15 September

Australia v New Zealand, Marvel Stadium, Melbourne, 7.45pm

Saturday 17 September

Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Velez Sarsfield, Buenos Aires, 4.05pm


Saturday 24 September

New Zealand v Australia, Eden Park, Auckland, 7.05pm

South Africa v Argentina, Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban, 5.05pm


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