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No SA teams in New Zealand proposal for 2021 Super Rugby

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New Zealand Rugby focus going forward with Super Rugby excludes South African teams.

This was presented to the NZR Board form the Chairs of the five Super Rugby clubs, provincial and private sector representatives as will as the NZR Chair Brent Impey and CEO Mark Robinson.

The NZR CEO Robinson said that the NZR Board had approved the new competition in 2021 that fans would love and that will be competitive on the field. This is what the players wanted and will drove commercial growth of the game he said.

After the Convid-19 pandemic and the future of he game, NZR Board wants to establish a new professional team competition for 2021.

“The focus is now on confirming the licenses for New Zealand’s five current Super Rugby clubs and that work is now underway. We have highly valued the partnership with these five clubs over the last 25 years of the competition and want that to continue,” he said.

They also wants the involvement of a Pasifika team, “As well, there is a huge desire to have a Pasifika team involved which we think will be massive for the competition, popular with fans and is a priority for us. As we know, our Pacific nations and Pasifika players in New Zealand have added so much to the rich history of rugby in Oceania and our game here in New Zealand. To have a team that would provide an additional pathway for Pasifika players to perform on the world stage would be hugely exciting,” Robinson said.
It still seems they want Aussie team involved but it will not be all five off them.

“As well, we will also be working with Rugby Australia to seek expressions of interest from their current Super clubs and other interested parties to join the competition and that work will begin in earnest. We are excited and interested to see what our Australian neighbours will bring to this competition,” he added.

Robinson said criteria would be developed as part of the expressions of interest (EOI) process and added the Board hadn’t settled on what the ideal number of teams in the new competition would be but hoped to have between eight and ten teams involved. The EOI process will begin next week and NZR hopes to have it completed by the end of next month.

“We want teams that are competitive and that fans will want to watch go head to head, week in, week out.”

Robinson said NZR would also be consulting with SANZAAR as part of the ongoing work on establishing the competition.

The Aratipu report also contains recommendations relating to fan engagement, the high-performance player pathway and financial sustainability of clubs. Robinson said NZR would now work closely with provincial unions and Super clubs on how any changes would be implemented to ensure that rugby can continue to grow and build on the opportunity presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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