Rugby Championship

As part of a radical overhaul to the Rugby Championship, the Springboks could reportedly host the All Blacks once every two years.

According to the New Zealand Herald, the competition will be re-formatted from 2021 onward so that the Springboks will travel to either New Zealand or Australia every two years.

This brings an end to South Africa having to travel halfway around the world each year to play both the Wallabies and All Blacks in Australasia.

As part of the new schedule, the All Blacks will now host either the Springboks or Argentina in a given season. The fixture will reverse in the following year, with the All Blacks travelling to the team they hosted in 2021.

Bledisloe Cup fixtures between New Zealand and Australia will remain unchanged, as will the games between the Springboks and Argentina. Both sets of fixtures will continue to take place on a home-and-away basis each season.

For example, in 2021 the Springboks could start the Rugby Championship with home-and-away fixtures against Argentina, before playing New Zealand away and then hosting the Wallabies.

This would then reverse in 2022, with the Springboks instead hosting the All Blacks and then travelling to Australia to play against the Wallabies.

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The changes come in order to give fixtures a greater sense of occasion for fans, who will now only be able to see the All Blacks or Wallabies in South Africa once every two years.

There is also the motivation of giving travelling teams the sense of a historical tour. The possibility is unlikely, but the All Blacks and Wallabies may travel to South Africa with extended squads to play mid-week games.

With each team now only playing four games per season, the Rugby Championship may also become more competitive, with each win or loss becoming more vital to the overall standings.

Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images

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