Super 14 Rugby

SANZAR at a stalemate on Super 14 top six play off


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The format for the Super 14 remains in doubt as SANZAR officials cannot agree on what format they want the tournament to be played under.


This also means that teams cannot complete their planning as the dates cannot be finalised.

They (three SANZAR nations -South Africa, New Zealand and Australia ) all agree that a six team play off should be adopted but they cannot agree on how the top six teams should qualify.

South Africa want to guarantee a place in the playoffs for each nation’s top-ranked side and for that team to have a home playoff.


This means that if one country’s top tam finished outside the top six they would still qualify for the play off and would they would host that play off.


New Zealand and Australia believe that a top six should be just that but South Africa are keen to introduce the more complex conference-style route in order to guarantee themselves a presence in the latter stages of the competition.

We’re at an impasse,” NZRU chief executive Steve Tew told the Sunday Star Times.

Adding to the problem Tew admitted New Zealand’s relationship with Australia is tense after they started contracting players from New Zealand.

In last week’s Sunday Star-Times, Tew said New Zealand would return serve if the practice continued. This week he took things a step further, saying: “We don’t want to go to war with Australia but we have told them we have a bigger war chest than they do.”

A Sunday Star-Times source in Australia said on Saturday the comment had been “noted”, adding: “But I don’t think it will change much. New Zealand is as dependent on us as much as they are on South Africa.”

Sanzar is not run on a majority-rules basis which means that if two nations agree and the other does not they cannot over-rule the third party. All three must agree on any changes.

Another problem looming for SANZAR is that they cannot agree on the proposed expansion for 2010.

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