‘Mini tours can reinvigorate Rugby Champs’

Newly-appointed Sanzaar CEO Brendan Morris says Australia could be considered once again as a centralised host for the 2021 Rugby Championship.

The Springboks ultimately had to pull out of the 2020 Rugby Championship due to player welfare concerns, but the tournament went ahead successfully in Australia, with the All Blacks ultimately crowned champions.

Although it is still a waiting game to see how the international calendar plays out this year, Morris said they would need to remain adaptable.

‘Australia did a fantastic job at short notice of putting on the tournament [last year],’ Morris commented. ‘The crowds voted with their feet and it was very well attended. Commercially, it ended up pretty good in terms of match-day revenue.

‘We took a bit of a beating on the broadcast due to the reduced number of games but it proved that a centralised model does work.

‘We’ve restructured the Rugby Championship this year to mini tours, which we’re really excited about. We really think that’s going to reinvigorate the tournament. Fans came back to us with feedback around how they missed the tours.

‘So, hopefully borders will open up. Things are settling down in Australia and New Zealand, but we’re still keeping a very close on South Africa and Argetina. Fingers crossed we get to deliver the best outcome, Plan A,

‘[But] we’ve got a competitions working group that has representatives from all four unions so we’ll be kicking that up again in coming weeks to really start defining what does Plan B and Plan C look like in terms of centralised locations, and give all four unions the opportunity to put their best foot forward to maximise the commercial outcome.’

Post by

Craig Lewis