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SANZAAR Boss quashes European v Super Rugby game

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SANZAAR Chief Executive Andy Marinos says that he has not been contacted by EPCR about a possible World Rugby Club champions match.

European Rugby released a statement on Friday saying that they were in talks with SANZAAR to hold a European Rugby Champions Cup winners match against the Super Rugby winners.

However SANZAR Boss Marinos has dismissed the idea and called it a ‘premature bullet’.

“It’s probably a little bit of a premature bullet that’s been fired across the ditch in our direction,” Marinos told Fairfax Media from South Africa.

“As CEO of SANZAR, I haven’t been contacted or spoken to anyone in regards to any such game. I was pretty surprised to see it across the newspapers and all the media platforms. I don’t know whether there might have been a bit of a wire crossing … it’s probably an eagerness on the part of European Rugby.”

Marinos said that while the match was not currently in SANZAR’s plans he did not rule out discussions on the concept in the future.

“It’s been one of those items that’s been on the radar for a number of years, so I don’t think it’s something we would completely discount but not at this stage are we looking at anything like that,” Marinos said.

“I think the focus is getting our current competition structure off to a successful launch in its first season – that’s got to be our focus. At SANZAR we’ll certainly be looking over the next cycle to see how we can improve and advance the competition that we’ve currently got. If that means looking at alternatives like that, we’ll certainly entertain those as part of a wider discussion.”

Marinos said he was more focused on ensuring that Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship run smoothly. The CEO added that he has been pleased with the way the new Super Rugby format has been working.

“I’ve certainly been very encouraged by it (the new format),” Marinos said.

“I think it’s taken a bit of time for stakeholders and supporters to get their head around the format, but once you sit down and think about it, it’s pretty logical. So far the quality and the style of the rugby has been really good.

“The introduction of the new teams adds a different flavour and a different impetus into the competition and I think teams like the Jaguares and Sunwolves have added excitement to the current structure. As the competition gains momentum I think we’re just going to see more and more quality games.”

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