SANZAR’s future safe but Super15 unconfirmed

Sanzar appear to have agreed to expand the Super 14 to a Super 15 for the 2011 season although the actual details will only be released next week.

The SANZAR partners South Africa, New Zealand and Australian rugby unions met for a crisis meeting in Dublin and after much fighting came to agreement on the future of Super Rugby.

Speaking from Dublin New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew said he was relieved that a consensus had been found, although details will not be formally released until next week.

When asked by Yahoo!Xtra if a Super 15 would be in creation by 2011, Tew said: “We will announce the actual details next week.

“We have previously outlined the Super 15 option. So I think you can plan reasonably confidently that that will be part of the detail.

“But I would rather not go much further than that stage at this time.”

If the Super 15 does go ahead it would most likely see the creation of three five-franchise conferences in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Each side would play its respective conference members on a home and away basis, before also playing the other 10 sides in the Super 15 once.

A six-team play-off series would then take place, featuring the top two teams from each conference.

While Tew said that he was not prepared to give away any facts that would reveal the set up and format of the Super 15 he did say that the best interests of New Zealand rugby had been protected.

“We would not have agree to anything other than a solution from the best interests of New Zealand rugby,” Tew said.

“I guess the only qualifier is that at times you do have to make some compromise to get the bigger picture ticked off.

“It was certainly our view, that to remain in a three-way joint-venture with Australia and South Africa was in the best interests of New Zealand rugby.

“All the information we have been getting from the broadcasting environment, from our sponsors, from market research we have been doing, steered us down that line.

“That is why we have gone into discussions being prepared to make some compromise. There were certainly some non-negotiables.

“We are comfortable we have achieved the appropriate result for all the interests we represent, which is from community rugby right through to top players in our professional ranks.”

On Thursday Sanzar chief executive Andy Marinos confirmed that a future structure had been agreed upon. However, he stressed it would be reported back to the respective unions before being made public.

“Whilst there was a robust and constructive discussion of the issues, it was clear that the partners were all united in wanting to continue playing Super Rugby and TriNations ,” Marinos said.

“We have agreed on a way forward and wish to inform our stakeholders before making any further comment.”

Tew said what had been agreed upon in Dublin worked for all three parties.

“We have had a very productive meeting,” Tew said.

“All three parties came to Dublin to try and find a solution. And we are delighted we have been able to do that.

“We now have an agreement. Next week we will be able to announce the details of that agreement.

“All three parties are keen to get home and give our shareholders a little bit of an insight into what has been agreed before we went public. It is particularly important for the South Africans.

“So w

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