New Zealand Rugby ditches Sanzaar: Australia responds to Super Rugby invitation

New Zealand Rugby ditches Sanzaar: Australia responds to Super Rugby invitation

When these sides met in the first attempt at the Super Rugby season at the beginning of the year, Blues conquer Hurricanes 30-20.

The report comes as the findings of the Aratipu Report begin to surface with the complex dynamic between NZ Rugby and its key stakeholders being revealed.

Rugby Australia has responded to New Zealand Rugby's decision to part ways with Sanzaar in the hope of establishing a new Super Rugby competition.

The New Zealand Rugby board on Thursday met to discuss a review of Super Rugby, which has always been criticised as unwieldy, expensive to run, exhausting for elite players and hard for fans to follow.

Rugby Australia issued a statement Friday saying it "acknowledges New Zealand Rugby's preferred position".

This announcement puts doubt into the role Rugby Australia and its current teams could have in a potential trans-Tasman rugby competition, with five current Super Rugby clubs, the same as New Zealand.

It favours between eight and 10 teams in the Super Rugby competition, with a "huge desire" for a Pasifika team.

There is no determination yet on the tournament's name, size and how teams will be owned and operated.

NZR CEO Mark Robinson said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic prompted rugby organisers to review other options and a fresh direction.

"There are a range of different options we're considering there", Robinson said.

"They'll be the sort of things well be talking in more detail about in the coming weeks. We'll be open to people coming into this process with ideas about investment".

The Reds came back from 14-0 straight down to the fatigue Western Force 31-24 within Brisbane.

He says they have highly valued the partnership with these five clubs over the last 25 years of the competition and want that to continue.

"We have had a number of conversations with them and we want to remain close to them", this individual said. "We are not predetermining that at this stage".

Since the advent of professional rugby, South African teams have competed alongside those from Down Under, with the Jaguares from Argentina entering into the fray from 2016. Southern hemisphere governing body Sanzaar said it wants New Zealand as sole host of the four-nation Test tournament because of its success in containing the Covid-19 pandemic. "The focus is now on confirming licenses for New Zealand's five current Super Rugby clubs and that work is now underway".

"It's extremely tough", he said.

"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".

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