Taranaki edge closer to Super15




Taranaki Rugby Football Union chief executive Mark Robinson will deliver Taranaki’s Super 15 bid to the national headquarters this afternoon.

“It’s a sizeable piece of work,” he told Taranaki Daily News.

“It focuses on the criteria required by Sanzar.

“It will be interesting to see how the NZRU responds to our bid. I think it stacks up pretty well.”

Taranaki’s bold bid for a place in Southern Hemisphere rugby’s elite competition was announced a week ago, a day after Hawke’s Bay said it also was interested in the expanded Super 15 competition.

Sanzar, which controls Super Rugby, is intending to expand the 14-franchise competition to a Super 15 with 15 teams in 2011.

Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay are the only two bidders from New Zealand, while seven in Australia have indicated their interest and one in South Africa.

Robinson said Taranaki’s bid was credible, with financial and organisational structures in place.

“We’ve put things together. The NZRU will make its decision by August 7 on whether or not the bid goes to Sanzar.”

Robinson said the bid was made by the TRFU with private investment at an unprecedented level in New Zealand rugby and with the support of Venture Taranaki and the New Plymouth District Council.

Former Taranaki man Stephen Jennings, one of New Zealand’s richest men and the man who runs Moscow-based global investment bank Renaissance Capital, has been linked as the private investor backing the Super 15  bid.

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