NZRU: SA won’t be excluded

Written by Clayton Saville (Clayton(PJLD))

Posted in :In the news, Tri Nations on 5 Aug 2008 at 09:07

Johannesburg – The New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU) will not back a proposed replacement competition for the Super 14 rugby that excludes South Africa.

That was made clear in no uncertain terms by the NZRU’s general manager of professional rugby, Neil Sorenson, who on Tuesday said that such a restructure would be at odds with the union’s preferred position at the moment.

According to the Wellington (NZ) newspaper The Dominion Post representatives from provincial teams North Harbour, Wellington, Canterbury, Auckland, Waikato, Otago, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Southland have been meeting in recent weeks over a restructure and realignment of Southern Hemisphere and New Zealand domestic rugby.

They are exploring a “new direction because they felt that the Super 14 competition had reached its use-by date”, The Dominion Post said.

The newspaper reports that the above mentioned unions wanted to replace Super 14 with a trans-Tasman home-and-away competition involving nine New Zealand teams and five from Australia and excluding South Africa altogether. This would mean doing away with New Zealand’s premier domestic competition, the Air NZ Cup, according to the report.

The “breakaway faction” also want a European-style tournament of 24 teams in four pools of six playing matches every four weeks. It is proposed that this competition would include teams from South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the Pacific Islands and America.

Preferred position

Sanzar’s Super 14 and Tri-Nations contract with News Limited does not end until 2011, but the report said that this date would have to be brought forward in order to have the new competitions up and running in 2010.

But Sorenson poured cold water on the idea. “Sanzar’s current position is that it is a very much a three-country expansion of Super rugby with South Africa involved. The trans-Tasman idea does not include South Africa and that is absolutely not the NZRU’s preferred position at the moment,” he is quoted as saying in The Dominion.

“At this stage Sanzar are unified in New Zealand, Australia and South African teams being involved in Super rugby and Tri-Nations going forward.

“There can be no breakup of Sanzar, absolutely not. Sanzar needs to remain very, very strong, particularly in today’s rugby environment which is very trying.”

Sorenson said the NZRU had had a lot of options “thrown at us” from various groups and individuals. “This one has been mooted before . .. we have been over some of these ideas over the last few weeks.”

The NZRU had been invited to attend a meeting on Friday but Sorenson was unsure if it was about the reported new competitions.

Meanwhile, the NZRU’s “final draft decision” on the future of the Air NZ Cup championship was due out on Wednesday. Unions have until September 5 to give their feedback and the NZRU board will ratify and produce a final decision on September 25, Sorenson said

Article originally appeared on


  • let them replace us we can play in the 7 nations tournament.

    that way we will win something every year :wink:

    Seriously though, if we DO get excluded from a comp that includes NZ and Aus our rugby will go downhill fast.

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.08.08 14:03:22 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
  • SA should not underestimate their value to the S14. The money is in Europe & we’re in the same time zone.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.08.08 14:14:12 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply
    McLovinAssistant coach
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :

    As will theirs KSA.

    Without the newscorp money many many more ABs will head for europe.

    The only reason the SH is strong is because we stand together and have competitions with no easy games. Take that away and we’ll al be mediocre as with the europeans.

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.08.08 14:25:15 by VinChainSaw Reply
    VinChainSawTeam captain
  • For a start we should demand the same travel for all. If we have to play 4/5 away on the trot so should they. All NZ teams should go via Aus to SA and Aus via NZ without returning to their home country for the full 4/5 weeks.

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.08.08 14:30:23 by ra-cheltjie de' be-er Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
  • McLovin… whihc movie was that from? Was that from SuperBad?

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.08.08 14:39:32 by VinChainSaw Reply
    VinChainSawTeam captain
  • The blogger formerly known as Racheltjiedebeer has changed his/her name to McLovin.

    Thank You

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.08.08 14:40:14 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 5) : That’s it. Very very funny imho. :grin:

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.08.08 14:41:01 by McLovin Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach

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