Super 14 Rugby

Super 14 expansion set to go global



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Sanzar officials will explore the possibility of involving the Pacific Islands, Argentina, Japan, the United States and Canada in an expanded Super 14.

Meetings have been scheduled around the Super 14 playoffs and Tri-Nations in Wellington and Samoa over the next few weeks and hope to have concrete options for expansion of the competitions in the next six months.

SANZAR have realised that they need to create a more exciting competition not only to excite the viewing public but also to stimulate player interest in tournaments that players are leaving in droves for the Northern Hemisphere.

New Zealand teams are almost under siege from Northern Hemisphere teams as they are able to offer packages that cannot be matched in the Southern Hemisphere. Players such as Daniel Carter and Nick Evans are being lured with offers they almost cannot refuse.

Historically the Sanzar nations have been ignoring calls from countries such as Samoa, Fiji and Argentina to be included in the Super 14.

“We are sort of recognising publicly if you like that Sanzar’s got some work to do to ensure that its competitions are the best in the world,” NZRU chief executive Steve Tew told NZPA.

Tew is attending an International Rugby Board meeting in Dublin where Sanzar officials also met.

“We’re identifying the fact that the rugby economy here (northern hemisphere) is posing a real serious threat to what’s happening to our countries.

“We’ve made a very strong commitment to work together on a very tight timeline to come up with some options in future and in that regard we’ll be talking face-to-face with the Japanese, the Canadians, the US, the Argentinians and the Pacific Islanders to try to progress throughout the next four to six months.”

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