SA in one Pool,AUS and NZ in the other for Super15

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew says a two-pool Super Rugby format is a realistic option after Sanzar’s Dubai summit failed to achieve any clear consensus on the competition’s future.

After arriving home in New Zealand from the conference in Dubai, Tew insisted that Sanzar would try to push forward with the preferred plan to add one team in 2011 and create a three-conference Super 15.

SANZAR want to have three geographical conferences for Super Rugby. Ideally one in each partner’s country consisting of five teams – five from each conference.

It would seem though that with all the public bickering going on there are already two geographical conferences in existence – one which has Australia and New Zealand in it and the other has South Africa in it.

Tew said that he had to admit that a contingency plan was a realistic alternative should New Zealand, South Africa and Australia fail to resolve their current differences.

“The other thing that’s clearly on the table now is that we would look at a second option which would be a competition based on an Australasian or Asia-Pacific pool and an African pool with some crossover for finals at the end,” Tew told The Dominion Post.

“If we can’t resolve our differences around start date, around June internationals and around expansion … if those things remain stumbling blocks, then that’s the fallback and we are working on that as we speak.”

Tew said that the expansion team could come from Australia, South Africa, Asia or the Pacific Islands.

South Africa have presold the TV rights to the Currie Cup which requires that their top players must be available for the tournament in July, but Tew said the NZRU had made it clear a March competition date was their preference.

“We’ve made it clear we respect their desires around the Currie Cup, but you are either in a joint venture or you’re not and you are prepared to make some compromises or you’re not.”


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