A bid to set up a Super Rugby team from the Pacific Islands has been turned down.
The islands have been a hotbed of talent and have seen their top players move overseas for lucrative contracts, but hoped that the inclusion of a team in Super Rugby could be a game changer.
A joint bid from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga was submitted in June to Sanzaar, who are currently in discussions about the future of the competition as the broadcast deal expires in 2020.
Fiji rugby chief John O’Connor said the governing body praised certain aspects of the bid, but ultimately decided that it would not bring enough money into the competition.
‘[This] would render the viability of a Pacific Super team under the proposed Sanzaar commercial model unsustainable,’ O’Connor said in a statement.
The Fiji Rugby Union did not detail the costings outlined in the bid, but the Pacific Rugby Players’ Association said it would have required a minimum annual investment of $12-million.