SANZAAR dismisses talk of long-term Super Rugby change

By Peter Thompson 4 May 2020 5
SANZAAR dismisses talk of long-term Super Rugby change

SANZAAR has rubbished reports that Super Rugby will be scrapped but confirmed there is set to be a "strong domestic focus" when this season resumes.

A trans-Tasman tournament is among the options that have been talked of as an alternative to Super Rugby, which is already due to be reduced to 14 teams next season after the Sunwolves were cut.

SANZAAR, the body that oversees Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship, says teams are likely to face less travel when the current campaign restarts due to restrictions imposed as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Yet Andy Marinos, the SANZAAR chief executive, says there has been no agreement reached over a new long-term structure.

Marinos said: "Having spoken with my SANZAAR board members I can confirm that none of the suggested models or structures that have been commented on recently, such as stand-alone Trans-Tasman formats, have been agreed by any of the SANZAAR unions individually or collectively.

"All such reports are merely speculative and have no basis to them.

"This is not to say that we are not having realistic discussions on what may have to eventuate should COVID-19 restrictions continue beyond 2020.

"We are presently looking in detail at various competition formats, but any agreed format will include teams from all four stakeholder national unions.

"Due to uncertainty over what various government restrictions, if any, may look like next year including international travel, no date has been set yet as to when a decision will be made on 2021 and beyond.

"A major consideration is that we also have an obligation to discuss any contingencies with our broadcast partners in the first instance after which we will make public comment."


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Peter Thompson