“It goes without saying that we are operating in a very dynamic and fluid environment that has additional layers of complexity given the diverse, multi-jurisdictional nature of our international cross-border competition structures," said Marinos.

"The impact of COVID has forced a rethink on Vodacom Super Rugby and the Castle Lager Rugby Championship delivery in 2020.  

"Due to the ongoing uncertainty over international travel for 2021 and beyond, the Member Unions are also working on solutions past this year that will excite fans, broadcasters and deliver high-performance outcomes for the Unions."

Marinos said the SANZAAR Joint Venture is not being dismantled.

"The Member Unions remain committed to the long-term future as a Joint Venture," he said.

"We all recognise the current challenges we face in trying to settle on any potential Super Rugby competition structures moving forward under the pandemic environment, however the restructuring of Super Rugby through reformatted competitions does not mean the dismantling of SANZAAR.

There is a clear understanding that the value of the SANZAAR alliance and the pathway of Super Rugby to international rugby remains critical to the long-term success, development and competitiveness of the respective National Teams. Our record in cross-hemisphere matches and World Cup tournaments are evidence of this."

Marinos pointed to the successful restarting of Vodacom Super Rugby in New Zealand and Australia and explained plans for the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.

"Our focus is now on the Castle Lager Rugby Championship, that is set to be played in one central location," said Marinos.

"We have determined that New Zealand is currently the favoured option given the COVID stability within the region. Critical to this, however, is alignment with the New Zealand Government around its requirements for this to take place.

"SANZAAR is well advanced in option planning with New Zealand Rugby, which in turn, is now seeking New Zealand Government approval. It is hoped that details on the TRC will be announced in the near future.

"Unfortunately, the pandemic has been particularly tough for our partners in Argentina as the size and length of the ‘lockdown’ has meant they are not able to play in any further revised Vodacom Super Rugby domestic competition this year.

"That said, SANZAAR is continuing to work with the Argentina Rugby Union (UAR) in looking for solutions to give their players some meaningful match preparation as we look ahead to the rest of 2020 with the Rugby Championship. SANZAAR is also assisting SA Rugby as it plans a return to play strategy in the weeks ahead."