Rugby Championship 2020: All Blacks will be home for Christmas after game date change

The All Blacks won't be stuck in quarantine for Christmas after SANZAAR announced a revised draw for the 2020 Rugby Championship. 

The clash between Australia and New Zealand at Sydney's ANZ Stadium, originally set for December 12 will now be held on October 31. 

Last month, NZ Rugby said they felt "blindsided" by SANZAAR over the original date as it meant the All Blacks would be spending Christmas in quarantine.

The national body claimed it did not agree to the date, although Newshub exclusively revealed that NZ Rugby signed off on a December 12 finish to the tournament, as part of a SANZAAR meeting that took place on September 17.

The revised 12 match tournament will be played over seven weeks. The All Blacks game dates are as follows:

  • October 31, New Zealand vs Australia (9:45pm NZT)
  • November 7, New Zealand vs Australia (9:45pm NZT)
  • November 14, New Zealand vs Argentina (7:00pm NZT)
  • November 21, New Zealand vs South Africa (7:00pm NZT)
  • November 28, New Zealand vs South Africa (9:45pm NZT)
  • December 5, New Zealand vs Argentina (7:00pm NZT)

The All Blacks last game will be on December 5, allowing plenty of time to quarantine and be home with their families for Christmas. 

Rugby Australia Interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke says he's glad the issues are resolved.

"I'm pleased this draw is now resolved and that the SANZAAR joint venture has reached a suitable compromise," says Clarke.

"Each party has had to sacrifice something, and I think that is a true indication of the strength of the SANZAAR alliance."

NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson was delighted with the outcome.

"We'd like to thank our colleagues at SANZAAR and Rugby Australia for the time and effort that has gone into finalising a schedule that is workable for all," says Robertson. 

"It is great news that we now have certainty on the draw and we're really excited about the fantastic rugby to come."

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