• Maddocks welcomes Super Rugby changes

    Wallabies star Jack Maddocks says he would welcome a trans-Tasman competition without South Africa or Argentina as Australia needs to play in one time zone.

    Last week, New Zealand Rugby outlined plans to enter its five Vodacom Super Rugby sides into a new competition from 2021, which is set to exclude any South African sides and not involve Argentina’s Jaguares.

    There is a strong desire to include one side from the Pacific Islands. Expressions of interest are being sought from Australian Rugby.

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    Meanwhile, reports from Australia suggest that they are planning a contingency tournament – which could include the Sunwolves – if they fail to reach an agreement with New Zealand Rugby over the plans for a trans-Tasman tournament.

    Maddocks said that he isn’t fazed whether Australian rugby goes alone next year, emphasising that it is more important that the struggling code wins back its fans with fairer kick-off times.

    ‘I think it’s pretty clear that it’s not going to be a worldwide sort of competition like we had before with South Africa and Argentina and all that and, from my point of view, that’s welcomed,’ Maddocks said.

    ‘Firstly, the travel aspect but also the time-zone aspect; I think it’s important that we play teams in our own time zone and that makes it easier for people to follow and keep up with and fans to feel involved with it.

    ‘For me personally, I put myself in the boat of the English Premier League. I follow that pretty closely and when I was 18, 19, 20, I used to get up and watch all the games at 3am.

    ‘Now that I have an actual job, I just can’t do it anymore, so I find I’m not as engaged anymore. So, I’ve been there as a fan. It was in a different sport but it was the same thing.

    ‘There are people who are a lot smarter than me making these decisions and a lot comes into it but, from my point of view, Australia and New Zealand or no New Zealand, I think as long as we’re in the right time zone and playing good footy, that’s all that matters.’

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    Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images