Hawaiian team targets Super Rugby place

The newly formed All Blacks-backed Hawaiian rugby franchise believe that they can provide a Pacific Island team in Vodacom Super Rugby.

This comes after Kanaloa Hawaii – which is owned by a group of former All Blacks including Jerome Kaino and Joe Rokocoko – had its bid to join the USA Major League Rugby confirmed. All of the franchise’s owners are of Samoan, Tongan or Fijian descent.

The franchise confirmed that it is in talks with New Zealand Rugby to join a revamped Super Rugby tournament.

New Zealand Rugby is currently conducting a review of both Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship with the report set to go to the governing body’s board next week.

‘We would essentially set up our satellite programme which is here in south Auckland to accommodate a second team,’ Kanaloa Hawaii chief executive Tracy Atiga told RNZ Pacific.

‘So, we are not talking about one team that plays in the MLR and then they come and play in Super Rugby. We are talking about two pro teams that would have equally competitive athletes at that level and we would own and operate them in co-ordination with each other.’

Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images