Australia have stated that they would be open to hosting a 'mini World Cup' this summer to keep the sporting calendar in operation, after the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the sport.
The idea was touted by Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan, who commented on the "sketchy" rugby calendars of both England South Africa due to the impact of the pandemic, and said that Australia is poised to host an event following the country's successful handling of the COVID-19 crisis.
Rugby Australia is planning on asking other nations if they would be willing to play in a tournament that could run parallel with the Rugby Championship.
"We are still expecting the Rugby Championship to go ahead this year but perhaps we can add to it and create a 'mini World Cup'," McLennan told the Financial Times.
"We have the French in July but if anyone else wants to come out, great. We have a significant British and Irish population here and South Africans.
"We are open to creating a new tournament and keeping the international calendar going."
Last year's Rugby Championship was forced into reduction to a Tri Nations between Argentina, Australia and New Zealand after South Africa, the current world champions, were forced to pull-out of the tournament due to travel restrictions.
Sport in Australia has become a topic of discussion in the last week, having opened its borders to athletes from around the world, including India's cricket team and a number of tennis stars who are currently undergoing their quarantine period in a hotel before the Australian Open on February 8.
With the country having successfully dealt with the pandemic and having significantly lower rates than the rest of the world, Australia has seemingly become a safe haven for sport to continue amid a period where in many countries, questions are continuously being asked about its priority during these uncertain times.
Author: Jake Wilkin