South African's players clebrate after winning the Rugby Championship at the end of a match between Argentina and South Africa in Salta, Argentina. Image Credit: AFP

Sydney: Australia will host this year's coronavirus-impacted Rugby Championship, it was announced Friday, in a setback for arch-rivals New Zealand who were the early frontrunners.

The four-way international tournament, which involves world champions South Africa as well as New Zealand, Australia and Argentina, was originally scheduled to begin in August.


But the COVID-19 pandemic forced a rethink and a decision to play in only one nation given border restrictions.

"We are delighted that SANZAAR can, at last, confirm the participants and host country for the Rugby Championship and put an end to the continued speculation about the tournament's format and location," chief executive Andy Marinos said.