‘Sanzaar is not being dismantled’

Sanzaar has reaffirmed that the restructuring of southern-hemisphere tournaments does not mean that its long-term future is under threat.

Rumours have been swirling in the media that the southern-hemisphere partnership could be under threat as South Africa continues to be linked with a move to an expanded PRO14 tournament.

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Meanwhile,  New Zealand Rugby is conducting its own review of both Vodacom Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship. There are rumours that their Aratipu report contains a number of major suggestions – including recommendations a trans-Tasman competition to come into place with the addition of a team from the Pacific.

However, Sanzaar on Thursday reaffirmed the commitment of all four of their member nations towards the long-term future of the governing body.

‘The Sanzaar Joint Venture is not being dismantled,’ the governing body said in a statement. ‘The Member Unions remain committed to the long-term future as a Joint Venture.

‘We all recognise the current challenges we face in trying to settle on any potential Super Rugby competition structures moving forward under the pandemic environment, however the restructuring of Super Rugby through reformatted competitions does not mean the dismantling of Sanzaar.’

Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos provided the context under which future planning is taking place amidst the impact of the current pandemic.

‘It goes without saying that we are operating in a very dynamic and fluid environment that has additional layers of complexity given the diverse, multi-jurisdictional nature of our international cross-border competition structures,’ Marinos said.

‘The impact of Covid has forced a rethink on the Super Rugby competition and The Rugby Championship delivery in 2020.  Due to the ongoing uncertainty over international travel for 2021 and beyond the member unions are also working on solutions past this year that will excite fans, broadcasters and deliver high-performance outcomes for the unions.’

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