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Tew : Super Rugby expansion is inevitable

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New Zealand Rugby Boss Steve Tew says that further expansion of Super Rugby is an inevitable economic necessity.

Super Rugby has expanded to increase extra teams with each new broadcast deal in it’s 20 year history and was expanded from 15 to 18 teams this year.

Tew, who is in London for a World Rugby meeting, says that the current conference structure has been set up to accommodate further expansion in other markets.

Tew said that if wants to New Zealand Rugby wants to play professional rugby they “can’t just play themselves as they will go out of business very quickly” and that “they can’t just play Australia as the same will apply and will just take a little longer to get there, so we have to have a competition that involves other countries and by geography that is complex”.

Tew said that Sanzaar will hold meetings over the next couple of days in London and the long term future is on the agenda.

“We have set this conference structure up so that future expansion will be possible and more sensible in terms of travel and workload but we have to break into new markets,” Tew told Radio Sport’s The Crowd Goes Wild.

“When we go to the next set of broadcasting deals we have to be sure we have a footprint in South America, a footprint in Asia and possibly other markets or we will go bust because we continue to compete against the clubs up here (in Europe).”

Tew added that French and English clubs are just about to sign big new deals that will give the clubs a lot more money to spend on players and that the salary cap is about to increase.

Tew admitted that “the current (Super Rugby) conference structure is not perfect but it does lay a foundation that we think will work.”

Super Rugby through the years
1996-2005 – 12 teams
2006-2010 – 14 teams
2011-2015 – 15 teams
2016-2018+ – 18 teams

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