South Africa back in Rugby Championship, to host Pumas

The COVID-19 pandemic meant last year's Championship was a three-cornered contest staged solely in Australia as the Springboks stayed home citing player welfare concerns.

Springbok players celebrate a try. Picture: @Springboks/Twitter

WELLINGTON, New Zealand - South Africa will contest the Rugby Championship this year and co-host the southern hemisphere tournament with Australia and New Zealand, officials said on Friday.

The COVID-19 pandemic meant last year's Championship was a three-cornered contest staged solely in Australia as the Springboks stayed home citing player welfare concerns.

Governing body SANZAAR said the full complement of South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina would participate in this year's tournament, which will run from mid-August until early October.

South Africa will host two games against Argentina to kick off the tournament before the action moves to Australia and New Zealand, which will each stage five matches.

"Following the unfortunate COVID-related disruptions of last year, we are very much looking forward to resume playing against the Pumas, Wallabies and the All Blacks," South Africa director of rugby Rassie Erasmus said.

SANZAAR chief executive Brendan Morris said officials would have preferred a home-and-away format but the pandemic meant they were unable to hold matches in Argentina.

"Like last year, the Pumas will play all their matches away from home and we thank them once again for their understanding in this regard," he said.

In addition to the 12-match Rugby Championship schedule, the All Blacks will host the Wallabies on August 7 in Auckland as part of their annual Bledisloe Cup contest.

Rugby Championship 2021:

Saturday, August 14

  • Springboks v Argentina in South Africa

Saturday, August 21

  • Argentina v Springboks in South Africa

  • Australia v New Zealand in Perth

Saturday, August 28

  • New Zealand v Australia in Wellington

Saturday, September 11

  • New Zealand v Argentina in Auckland

  • Springboks v Australia in Australia

Saturday, September 18

  • Argentina v New Zealand in Wellington

  • Australia v Springboks in Brisbane

Saturday, September 25

  • New Zealand v Springboks in Dunedin

  • Australia v Argentina in Australia

Saturday, October 2

  • Springboks v New Zealand in Auckland

  • Argentina v Australia in Australia

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