SANZAAR not 'dismantling', New Zealand to host The Rugby Championship

New Zealand could host the whole Rugby Championship if the competition gets off the ground in 2020 Marcelo Endelli/Getty Images

The future of SANZAAR remains safe, while New Zealand will host The Rugby Championship if the competition gets off the ground in 2020, a SANZAAR release stated on Thursday morning.

Responding to speculation from Australia and New Zealand around the future of the SANZAAR alliance, the joint sporting body stated it would not be dismantling despite the uncertainty surrounding the future of Super Rugby.

Due to COVID-19, Australia and New Zealand have been forced to create their own domestic Super Rugby competitions, Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa respectively, with Rugby Australia [RA] and New Zealand Rugby [NZR] discussing the potential of a future trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition.

Despite the ongoing uncertainty, SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said member unions remain committed to SANZAAR.

"The SANZAAR joint venture is not being dismantled," Marinos said in a statement. "The Member Unions remain committed to the long-term future as a joint venture.

"We all recognise the current challenges we face in trying to settle on any potential Super Rugby competition structures moving forward under the pandemic environment, however the restructuring of Super Rugby through reformatted competitions does not mean the dismantling of SANZAAR.

"There is a clear understanding that the value of the SANZAAR alliance and the pathway of Super Rugby to international rugby remains critical to the long-term success, development and competitiveness of the respective National Teams. Our record in cross-hemisphere matches and World Cup tournaments are evidence of this."

It still remains unknown if The Rugby Championship will be able to take place in 2020, with South Africa and Argentina still dealing with clusters of coronavirus outbreak, but if the competition is to get off the ground, but New Zealand has been flagged as the favoured host.

New Zealand has enjoyed several weeks without COVID-19 restrictions and has seen sellout stadiums across Super Rugby Aotearoa. However, SANZAAR still needs to work with the New Zealand Government to determine whether the competition could go ahead.

"Having successfully restarted Super Rugby this year in Australia and New Zealand our focus is now on The Rugby Championship (TRC) that is set to be played in one central location," Marinos said.

"We have determined that New Zealand is currently the favoured option given the COVID stability within the region.

"Critical to this, however, is alignment with the New Zealand Government around its requirements for this to take place. SANZAAR is well advanced in option planning with New Zealand Rugby, which in turn, is now seeking New Zealand Government approval.

"It is hoped that details on the TRC will be announced in the near future."