NZ withdraw from Super15 bid

The New Zealand  Rugby Union have decided not to proceed with their bid for an extra Super Rugby team when the tournament expands to the Super 15 in 2011.


The NZRU paid tribute to the efforts made by the Taranaki region in its proposal to be considered for the new 15th Super Rugby  Franchise, to be allocated ahead of the 2011 season.


NZRU CEO Steve Tew announced that the NZRU Board has decided not to endorse the Taranaki bid for consideration by SANZAR but that significant thought was given to the merits of the case put forward.


“The proposal put forward by Taranaki was thorough, detailed and professional and has created a foundation for any future proposals from the region,” he said.


Mr Tew commended Taranaki  Rugby , the New Plymouth District Council and Venture Taranaki, for the hard work and commitment put into their proposal.


“That said, we have consistently questioned whether New Zealand has the capacity, either in playing depth or financial resources, to sustain a sixth Super Rugby Franchise and that influenced our decision.”


While consideration was given to referring the Taranaki proposal on to SANZAR, it was agreed that an expansion of the number of Super Rugby teams in New Zealand would not be in the best interests of New Zealand rugby at this time.


Consideration was also given to the value that a New Zealand-based Team would bring to the Australian Conference.


Taranaki RFU CEO Mark Robinson said the Taranaki regional grouping was grateful for the opportunity to present a Super 15 bid and for the hearing it received from the NZRU.


“The feedback we received was constructive and positive. We were also delighted with the way the Taranaki region came together to put forward this bid and that this work was recognised on its merits.


“There are a number of positives for us in this process in that we can learn from this experience and also build on this as a platform for future opportunities.”


The Hawke’s Bay Rugby Football Union had previously withdrawn its Expression of Interest in the Super Rugby expansion team.


SANZAR will now consider the Super 15 proposals referred to it by the Australian Rugby Union (Melbourne) and the South Africa Rugby Union (Eastern Cape).


Melbourne are considered to be the overwhelming favourites to be awarded the rights for the new Super 15 team as it has been agreed that the Super 15 format will see three pools of five teams each and the new team will play in the Australian Pool.


If the Southern Kings were awarded the 15th franchise they would realistically have to set up a team base in Australia and play all of their matches in Australia.


Currently Australia has four Super Rugby teams while their partners South Africa and New Zealand have five teams each.

 

Awarding the 15th Super 15 team to Melbourne Australia would even out the number of teams at five each.

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