Hawke’s Bay not giving up on Super15




The Hawkes Bay Rugby Union are not giving up on becoming a sixth Super 15 franchise in New Zealand.

This comes shortly after the Union backed down in their race to be named new team when Super Rugby expands to a Super 15 in 2011.

The new team will be based in the Australian conference or pool but submissions have been received from South African, New Zealand and Australian teams.

Union CEO Mike Bishop says that his Union simply ran out of time to get a business case together for the Super 15 team bid.

He says rugby in Hawkes Bay is ready for a new challenge.Mike Bishop says they will look at bidding for the Super 15 competition again in another year or so.

“We were given a seven-day deadline from the New Zealand union which ended last Friday and that was outrageous,” Hawke’s Bay union director Kevin Atkin told Hawke’s Bay today.


“Last week was hectic for us with the buildup to the opening game against Auckland and not knowing until two days before the game whether or not we would be able to sell tickets in the new Graeme Lowe Stand,” Mr Atkinson said.


“We wouldn’t have given the plan justice.”


The union’s financial whiz, Mr Atkinson pointed out when Hawke’s Bay applied for Premier Division status four years ago it was a four-month project which cost $160,000.


“Obviously our main focus this year is to try and win the Air New Zealand Cup and we felt rushing an application would distract us from that focus,” he said.


“We felt we would have put up a good case but not in the timeframe given.


“If opportunities arise in the future for a Super Rugby franchise application we would definitely give it a crack … if the timeframe was right,” Mr Atkinson said.


There have been rumblings that the Super 15 will expand to a Super 18 from 2013 and that tournament could include the likes of Japan and some involvement in the Pacific Islands.

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