Devastating: What Springbok exit cost Aussie rugby

South Africa's withdrawal from The Rugby Championship has cost Rugby Australia $7 million.

The world champions pulled the pin on the tournament last week, crushing plans for six weeks of double-header Test matches involving the Wallabies, All Blacks and Argentina.

Due to the loss of games, broadcasters Fox Sports and Network Ten revised down the amount they were willing to shell out for the hastily arranged Tri Nations tournament, and it has taken $7 million away from RA at a time they're desperate for cash.

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RA chairman Hamish McLennan said on Wednesday they would not pursue South African Rugby for compensation, after they'd cited player welfare concerns obtained from independent medical advice to show the Springboks could not safely compete against their rivals.

"We'll just find a way to deal with it, it's been tough for all sports in Australia through COVID," McLennan said.

"We would love to have had the money come in. It's not, but we'll find a way through and we've proven so far we're a pretty resilient organisation and we'll just make it work.

"It will cost us quite a lot of money, but we'll find a way through it.

"We'd agreed to the tournament, the financial loss for them will be great.

"They were worried about player safety.

"Our view is different to theirs, we think we would have given them ample time to prepare for the Tests, we've already got the Argentinians out here at the moment and they're quite satisfied with how their preparation will go.

"To be honest with you, we're very disappointed they're not turning up."

RA's next step to secure their future financially is to finalise their broadcast deal for 2021 and beyond, and they're expected to make a decision by next Wednesday.

Fox Sports, owned by News Corp - publishers of The Daily Telegraph - have put in a more lucrative financial offer, while Nine Entertainment is hoping to steal rugby by trading on a bigger free-to-air audience.

Nine has also offered the option of showing one Super Rugby game live on their network, and screening the rest on their streaming service Stan.

Fox Sports has countered by offering to show Super Rugby games on their streaming service Kayo for free.

Either way, Super Rugby is set to be shown in front of a paywall for the first time since its inception in 1996, a big win for rugby fans.


The Brumbies are set to poach Queensland Rugby academy's head coach Rod Seib to replace Peter Hewat.

After helping the Brumbies win the Super Rugby AU title this year as attack coach, Hewat took up a job with Japanese Top League side Ricoh Black Rams.


To'omua out for rest of 2020: Wallabies: Matt To'omua is reportedly going to miss the rest of 2020 as he suffered a nasty groin strain against the All Blacks at Eden Park.


That prompted head coach Dan McKellar to reject a job as Wallabies forwards coach, in order to focus on the Brumbies for next year.

And it appears he's made an astute gain in new attack coach Seib, who is highly rated by the QRU.


Winger Andy Muirhead has been tipped to become the 15th Indigenous Wallaby by legend Gary Ella.

There was a deflating realisation this week, as the Wallabies launched their 2020 First Nations jersey to be worn in the third Bledisloe on October 31, and against Argentina on December 5, that no Indigenous player will be in the squad.

Ella believes Muirhead, who had a fine Super Rugby AU season, is in line to join the other 14 former Wallabies including Kurtley Beale, Matt Hodgson, Wendell Sailor, Andrew Walker, Jim Williams, the Fainga'a twins and the Ella brothers.

Originally published as Devastating: What Springbok exit cost Aussie rugby