NZ Rugby not cutting ties with SA

Mark Robinson says New Zealand Rugby wants to keep a relationship with SA Rugby despite proposing a new trans-Tasman competition.

In a statement released by NZ Rugby on Friday, chief executive Robinson announced plans to shake up Vodacom Super Rugby with an eight-to-10 team tournament, with a strong desire to include one side from the Pacific Islands. Expressions of interest are being sought from Australian Rugby.

There would be no space for either the South African franchises or Argentina’s Jaguares as NZ Rugby wants to see all five their Super Rugby teams take part.

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The proposal – which came following their three-month Aratipu review into the southern-hemisphere tournaments – would see NZ Rugby cut its ties with Sanzaar as far as Super Rugby goes next year.

While New Zealand’s plans won’t have their clubs compete with the South African teams in that specific tournament, Robinson said they are still looking to keep SA Rugby in the loop and find other ways to compete outside Test rugby.

‘They’ve been across all of the dialogue we’ve had through Sanzaar and we’ve had a number of conversations with them,’ Robinson said.

‘We want to remain close to them and where there is opportunity to play each other going forward we remain hugely committed to that partnership.

‘We’re looking at ways outside of international rugby that we might be able to do that too. There are a range of different options we are considering.’

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