A group of investors has offered US$4.5-million to have an independent Hawaii-based team in Super Rugby from 2020.
According to Radio New Zealand International, the prospective Super Rugby team will be made up exclusively of Pacific Island players from Fiji, Tonga and Samoa. The concept is designed to counter the constant drain of talent from the islands to other rugby-playing nations like New Zealand and Australia.
The benefactors are a group of Pacific Islanders playing in America’s NFL, but their funding comes with the condition that the team is based in Hawaii.
Samoa prime minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, in his capacity as chairman of the Samoa Rugby Union, says negotiations between all the parties involved are well underway.
‘We have a good Samaritan, the organisation of Pacific Players playing for the American sports who are interested in funding a Super Rugby team, and I think that is an opening for our Pacific team, but it will have to be based in Hawaii,’ he said.
‘We are still continuing the discussion, if the Hawaiian solutions come through then we will have a Super Rugby team. Otherwise, we are talking about issues that we can never, never, never finance because we cannot afford it.’
Photo: Getty Images