Two of New Zealand’s closest rivals have responded to their decision to part ways with Sanzaar, in the hope of establishing a new Super Rugby live competition.
NZR has revealed plans to ditch the current tournament structure – as well as the governing body – from 2021, following the three-month Aratipu review.
NZR’s preference would be an eight- to 10 team competition, which includes all five New Zealand franchises and one Pacific Island team with two to four Australian sides.
It is believed Sanzaar would remain in control of the Rugby Championship.
NZR said they are excited around what Australia can bring to the table, and will be working with them to seek interest from their Super Rugby franchises. From next week, expressions of interest will be sought from the Aussie teams – potentially sparking a fight for survival among the five franchises – before deciding on their participation.
But in a statement, RA did not express immediate interest to join their Pacific neighbours. Rather, they “acknowledge” NZR’s “preferred position” in regards to a future competition.
“[We] look forward to working constructively with New Zealand Rugby in the coming weeks,” they said.
RA added they will continue discussions with stakeholders as well as their “valued Sanzaar joint venture partners”.
South Africa Rugby said in a statement they have been “kept abreast of the thinking in New Zealand” in discussions surrounding the future.
“As part of the SANZAAR joint venture we will be examining how the mooted new competition will fit into the existing contracted competitions,” they added.