Australia could again host centralised Rugby Championship in 2021

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Patrick Tuipulotu of the All Blacks competes with Guido Petti of Argentina during the 2020 Tri-Nations match in Sydney. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Patrick Tuipulotu of the All Blacks competes with Guido Petti of Argentina during the 2020 Tri-Nations match in Sydney. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

New Sanzaar CEO Brendan Morris says Australia could be again be considered as a centralised host for this year's Rugby Championship.

The Springboks pulled out of the 2020 event due to player welfare concerns, but it went ahead with the hosts, New Zealand and Argentina participating in a renamed Tri Nations.

Although it is still a waiting game to see how the 2021 international calendar will unfold, Morris said they would need to remain adaptable.

"Australia did a fantastic job at short notice of putting on the tournament," Morris told the Stuff website. "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 Argentina. 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."

Australian Morris has been promoted to Sanzaar chief executive from chief operating officer. He replaces Andy Marinos, who was recently named Rugby Australia's new CEO.

Argentina's Marcelo Rodriguez has also taken over as Sanzaar chairperson, replacing Brent Impey.

- Compiled by Sport24 staff

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