KSA Shark ©

Marinos: Saru looking north

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Super 14 on 23 Apr 2009 at 08:01
Tagged with : , , , , , ,

SANZAR’s alliance is on the edge of collapse as South Africa have admitted that they are looking at joining the Northern Hemisphere tournaments which would leave Australia and New Zealand to go it alone.

SA Rugby’s acting managing director Andy Marinos admitted to the Times in New Zealand that they were going to start “canvassing up north”.

The revelation comes just days after Australian Rugby Union boss John O’Neill fired more verbal shots at the South Africans by saying that they were stalling.

The New Zealand Rugby Union and ARU appear to have agreed on a way forward with the creation of a Super 15, SA Rugby continues to threaten to use its right of veto unless the changes are made on their terms.

This has led the NZRU and ARU to frustration where they have admitted that they too were looking to go it alone.

And Marinos said SA Rugby was now almost at that stage.

He said that he had: “made it very clear to Australia and New Zealand in our last meeting that we are going to start canvassing up north”.

Sanzar has until June the 30th to present their plan for the next five years of South African, Australian and New Zealand rugby to the broadcasters who fund all of the tournaments.

And with time rapidly running out, Marinos said SA Rugby wouldn’t hesitate to terminate its involvement with Sanzar if that was what was best for rugby in the republic.

“We’re doing everything in our power to ensure Sanzar stays alive, but we have to be realistic and work within the constraints we have,” he told The Times.

“We are approaching a critical point now.

“I’ve put forward a position and South Africa will hold that position.

“We have compromised and are in a serious stage of negotiation and all parties need to come to the party.

“They’ve been talking about a trans-Tasman/Asian structure so we must perhaps also look at what our options are.

“We will exhaust every avenue within Sanzar but if we can’t reach a compromise we’ll have no hesitation in looking to the north.”

A firm Marinos said that his words were anything but a threat and added that aligning themselves with Europe would bring with it some positives.

“For a lot of reasons it makes sense; the same time zones, it’s more attractive for broadcasters, less travel and there has been a resurgence of the strength of club rugby there because of the Heineken Cup,” Marinos said.

O’Neill and SA Rugby officials have not been on friendly terms for some time after a verbal bust up that took place in the media following the SANAR meeting in Dubai.

The relationship has since further soured since O’Neill’s verbal spat in the media blaming SA Rugby’s stance for delaying the possibility of an agreement being reached.

O’Neill has also taken issue with SA Rugby, saying it is not prepared to compromise for what he calls the better good of Super Rugby expansion.

And he has again raised the prospect of the ARU and NZRU moving on without South Africa.

“I think all the moving so far has been by Australia and New Zealand. That’s the truth of it,” he said.

“And I think you get to the point where you can’t move any more. We, Australia and New Zealand, have shifted.

“At this stage, all we have out of South Africa is the press release that came out, which I’ve held up to the light and I still don’t understand it.

“So I’m sure we’ll hear more this week, but it’s a very difficult negotiation.

“Inevitably, you always have to have a plan B.

“Our preference is still very much a Super 15, a round and a half, what we call the perfect outcome. We’ve been absolutely consistent about that.”

“If you end up in a complete impasse, well then we’ve got a game in Australia and New Zealand which requires a big chunk of mass entertainment product.

“And if it can’t include South Africa, then trans-Tasman-Asia Pacific options have to be looked at.”

However, Marinos has fired back, stating: “I take exception to the fact that Australia say they have ‘compromised’.

“I honestly can’t see what they have compromised on and in any new structure we agree on they’ll be getting more than they had.

“The only people compromising are those of us who have a competition structure to compromise (the Currie Cup and the Air New Zealand Cup).”

Australia have no significant domestic rugby tournament following the TriNations after O’Neill cancelled the Australian Rugby Championship after one poor financial season.

Since that time O’Neill has put almost all of his efforts into expanding the Super 14 – possibly at the expense of the quality of the rugby and the Currie Cup and the Air New Zealand Cup.

Courtesy of Rugbyweek.


  • The NZ and OZ sections of SANZAR should be bending over backwards to keep SA in the tournament. Rugby in both those countries is going through very tough times.

    The NPC and the OZ effort that went belly up both show that at club level, the game is not getting the numbers, and at S14 level, the same thing is happening.

    To give us the short end of the stick in terms of refs, travel and now to expect us as the one country that seems to actually have the pulling power to kowtow to their needs is a joke.

    I’m all for a change of scenery (even though I do enjoy S14 rugby the most of all rugby tournaments during the year) and maybe we should show that we have cojones to make good with our threats!

  • Comment 1, posted at 23.04.09 08:33:16 by Baldrick Reply
  • They couldnt fill a bathtub with supporters in oz! Go Marinos, let them know where the money is.

  • Comment 2, posted at 23.04.09 08:41:20 by Rahul Reply
  • @Rahul (Comment 2) :

    You still don’t get it do you… the BROADCASTERS fund the entire tournament… not the gate-takings… and with over 400 000 rugby mad Japies and twice that in Kiwi’s on top of the Aussie fans… Foxsports rakes it in…

    I just hope RSA don’t exit SANZAR for want of the ludicrous ‘6th team’…

  • Comment 3, posted at 23.04.09 10:25:05 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 3) : Im using the supporters at each venue to judge where the money is, not the gate takings. If the grounds are empty in oz how many people are watching on TV?

  • Comment 4, posted at 23.04.09 10:41:20 by Rahul Reply
  • Supersport should be pumping in more than fox

  • Comment 5, posted at 23.04.09 10:42:17 by Rahul Reply
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 3) :

    it is no secret and has been said by O’Neal and Tew that SA bring in by far the largest share of revenue for the SANZAR competitions.

  • Comment 6, posted at 23.04.09 10:46:23 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • It’s interesting times that we live in. I can’t help hinking rugby in the SH has reached a fork in the road and it’s veeeerrrrrrryyyy important to the health of rugby in these 3 countries that the correct road is chosen.

  • Comment 7, posted at 23.04.09 12:18:44 by Ollie Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 6) :

    That it isn’t… bud I’d rather scrap the 3N… make them rotating tours… and keep the S14… preferably with one less RSA team and another Aussie or PI…

  • Comment 8, posted at 23.04.09 12:44:23 by bryce_in_oz Reply
  • @Ollie (Comment 7) : and I think our rugby will suffer if we go to the NH

  • Comment 9, posted at 23.04.09 12:44:37 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :
    It will suffer it stays on the same course as now as well

  • Comment 10, posted at 23.04.09 13:37:22 by Ollie Reply

  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :

    I struglle to swallow that one.

    NH rugby is pretty damn strong at the moment and will only get stronger.

    To use an analogy – SA (and NZ I suppose) is the Brazil of the rugby world. England and France, well, they are still England and France.

    Rugby is headed toward the footie situation where everythign happens in Europe, not away from it.

    SANZAR is stale and o’Neill, and the Oz media, need to be put in their place.

    I’d love it if SA had an elite comp, invitation only, once a year, for manybe two months.
    Two or three saffa teams, with clubs and provinces from around the world invited to play.

    Maybe SARU could launch an IPL rugby equivalent. There’s no reason why not. We are the world champs after all and one of the largest countries in terms of players and fans.

    Dump SANZAR, they’re just holding us back.
    And thankfully if we play with the boys from the north we don’t need to continaully tinker with the rules at the behest of wankers such as JoN.

    Just do it already.

  • Comment 11, posted at 23.04.09 13:58:05 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 11) : hey – let’s do that braai towards the end of May. What say you?

  • Comment 12, posted at 23.04.09 15:09:05 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @bryce_in_oz (Comment 3) : You are not correct. Game attendance numbers are very important. It correlates with the TV audience, if nobody is showing up at the stadium, nobody is watching on TV.
    There are also concession sales, advertising boards, hospitality suites, parking lots, merchandise sales and sponsers. If you add all these together you will find that it is not only worth more than the TV contracts, but the size of the TV contracts also depends directly on it.

  • Comment 13, posted at 23.04.09 15:16:12 by fyndraai Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
  • @robdylan (Comment 12) :

    I says I thinks that’s a great idea!

  • Comment 14, posted at 23.04.09 16:24:01 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • It seems that O’Neal is the only one who wants this expanded. The NZ unions certainly don’t.

    Kiwis tackle NZRU over Super support
    Thu, 23 Apr 2009 12:08

    Nine New Zealand provincial rugby unions have expressed their concern over the New Zealand Rugby Union’s (NZRU) support for an expanded Super Rugby competition.

    The nine provinces, commonly known as the G9, believes an expanded Super Rugby tournament will undermine the provincial Air New Zealand Cup.

    Counties-Manukau, Bay of Plenty, Northland, Tasman, Southland, North Harbour, Taranaki, Manawatu and Hawke’s Bay unions have expressed “grave concerns” for the future of the domestic game, in a letter to the NZRU.

    The five other ANZ Cup unions that are Super 14 bases – Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, Canterbury and Otago – are not represented on the four-page letter, which came into possession of the Dominion Post newspaper.

    NZRU chairman Jock Hobbs admitted that there were communication problems with the G9 but he stressed that the parties had the same interests at heart.

    “The principles they have set out that they want to see in the domestic competitions we largely agree with, we are actually on the same page,” Hobbs said.

    “There is a lot of communication, not all of it seems to be effective. We will have a look at that and see if we can do it better and we will try to do it better.”

    The unions stated in the letter that New Zealand crowds in this year’s Super 14 “clearly illustrates that Super rugby is a tired concept.”

    They are also concerned that an expanded version of the Super 14 would further lessen the possibility of New Zealand’s top players ability to play in the ANZ Cup.

    “The group is concerned that if NZRU dumb down the ANZC [Air NZ Cup competition] as reflected in the financial modelling produced to date then rugby in New Zealand, as we currently know it, will be stuffed by the 2019 World Cup,” the letter said.

    Asked whether Super 14 players would always be part of the ANZ Cup, Hobbs replied “that is certainly our intention and always has been.

    “We are not prepared to compromise our domestic competitions,” he added.

    The letter also requests the NZRU to extend the present SANZAR broadcasting agreement by just one year until the end of 2011, providing extra time to get the input and support of the provinces.

    The nine union chairmen are to meet the national board to discuss their concerns ahead of the NZRU’s annual meeting in Wellington.

  • Comment 15, posted at 23.04.09 16:26:38 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : me too – can you imagine this low scoring mud baths :mrgreen:

    plus it will be too cold for SAffas :mrgreen:

  • Comment 16, posted at 23.04.09 16:56:45 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • @VinChainSaw (Comment 14) : ok… let’s pencil in 30 May? You guys come to us.

    When last did you hear from Quinny?

  • Comment 17, posted at 23.04.09 17:15:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : disagree, winning improves player confidence and rugby in general. the s14 is a huge burden on sa players as it isn’t easy to succeed. currently only two teams in sa are getting that winning feeling and you can see the quality of players being produced by these unions. with time zones and easier travel a certainty with a tie to the north sa teams will benefit. a 6th sa team could also be entered into the comp and will be competitive. which is not case in the s14 now as we have 3 teams floundering at the bottom. that can’t be doing player confidence much good.

  • Comment 18, posted at 23.04.09 20:29:26 by try time Reply

  • isnt there a poll where supporters can vote?? I think if we quit sanzar, were goin to struggle when we have to play nz and aus in future, but playing NH teams might improve other aspects of our game, either way its going to be 50/50. Why dont they host the entire S14 and 3N in one country, and rotate them yearly?

  • Comment 19, posted at 24.04.09 09:29:51 by JarsonX Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner
  • heard this morning on reunion:

    SA Rugby needs to serve unique political interest …

    clearly SARU the most influential member of SANZAR but it should not put the gun to other memebers heads – sth along those lines

    very interesting

  • Comment 20, posted at 24.04.09 10:03:11 by rekinek Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) :

    I totally agree , moving up North will be a massive mistake.

    Our Rugby will suffer in the long run..Howcome the Southern hemisphere hav been dominating for decades now except the slight mishap of Eng winning the WC.

    Stay here and work it out.

  • Comment 21, posted at 24.04.09 11:26:18 by CoffeeShopBok;-) Reply


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