SANZAAR announce changes to 2020 Rugby Championship fixture

The All Blacks will be home for Christmas with a revised Rugby Championship draw approved on Thursday evening.

Tournament stewards SANZAAR and "hub" hosts Rugby Australia agreed to ditch one of the tournament's double-headers and instead bring the opening clash between the Wallabies and All Blacks forward one week to Oct. 31.

It means the two nations will face each other four times in five weeks, with the first of two Bledisloe Cup encounters in New Zealand to be played on Sunday in Wellington and the second a week later in Auckland.

The change in schedule means the Rugby Championship will now be contested over seven weeks, with the final matchday now pitting only Argentina against South Africa at Newcastle's McDonald Jones Stadium.

"I really have to thank the New South Wales Government, under the leadership of Gladys Berejiklian as well as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Government in Queensland for their flexibility and support in accommodating this late change," said Rugby Australia Interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke.

"Both Governments have been terrific partners in ensuring this tournament goes ahead and in helping deliver world-class Rugby for fans across New South Wales and Queensland as well as to the global television audience that will be tuning in.

"I'm pleased this draw is now resolved and that the SANZAAR joint venture has reached a suitable compromise. Each party has had to sacrifice something, and I think that is a true indication of the strength of the SANZAAR alliance."

New Zealand Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson echoed the sentiments.

"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," Robinson said.

"It is great news that we now have certainty on the draw and we're really excited about the fantastic rugby to come," NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said.

The change brings to a close more than a fortnight of mudslinging after NZ Rugby accused SANZAAR and Rugby Australia of backtracking on an agreement that would have seen the All Blacks home by Christmas.

RA had disputed the claim, saying NZR had originally voted against its request for the Rugby Championship to be completed within a five-week timeframe when it had originally been pegged for New Zealand.

But there also remains a chance the tournament could undergo further changes with South Africa still to confirm its participation with "several factors outside the realm of SANZAAR" still to run their course.

Revised draw for the 2020 Rugby Championship 2020

Matchday one - Saturday 31 October ANZ Stadium, Sydney 19:45 AEDT - Australia v New Zealand

Matchday two - Saturday 7 November Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane 17:00 AEDT - Argentina v South Africa 19:45 AEDT - Australia v New Zealand

Matchday three - Saturday 14 November Bankwest Stadium, Sydney 17:00 AEDT - New Zealand v Argentina 19:45 AEDT - South Africa v Australia

Matchday four - Saturday 21 November ANZ Stadium, Sydney 17:00 AEDT - New Zealand v South Africa 19:45 AEDT - Australia v Argentina

Matchday five - Saturday 28 November McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle 17:00 AEDT - Argentina v Australia 19:45 AEDT - South Africa v New Zealand

Matchday six - Saturday 5 December Bankwest Stadium, Sydney 17:00 AEDT - Argentina v New Zealand 19:45 AEDT - Australia v South Africa

Matchday seven - Saturday 12 December McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle 19:45 AEDT - South Africa v Argentina