South Africa has pulled out of the Australia-hosted Rugby Championship citing its government's travel restrictions, player welfare and safety concerns.

The joint organisation South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby (SANZAAR) said in a statement the reigning World Cup winners will no longer compete against the other three countries, who will instead compete in the Tri-Nations tournament.

The decision means South Africa are due to play no international matches between their World Cup victory over England in Japan on Novermber 2, 2019 and July 24, 2021 when they host the British and Irish Lions in Johannesburg.

South African Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux said in the SANZAAR statement: "This is a hugely disappointing outcome for supporters and commercial partners but the on-going impacts of the pandemic in multiple dispensations mean we are unable to deliver a Springbok team without seriously compromising player welfare, apart from other logistical challenges."

The five-week Tri-Nations will begin on October 31 with Australia hosting New Zealand in Sydney.