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Rugby Australia ‘to reject’ New Zealand’s Super Rugby proposals

Kieran Read of the All Blacks secures the high ball during the 2019 Rugby Championship Test Match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the Australian Wallabies at Eden Park on August 17, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Rugby Australia has said it will reject New Zealand Rugby’s plans for a revamped Super Rugby competition, and is said to be speaking to the rugby unions in Argentina and Japan about alternative models.

NZR recently revealed its future model for Super Rugby based on the results of the Aratipu Report, which recommended a competition between eight and 10 teams which will feature the five NZR franchises.

RA are currently in discussions with NZR over the future of Super Rugby, but RA are set to ignore a request to submit “expressions of interest” in New Zealand’s proposed new competition, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.

“The expression of interest I’m not interested in and if they send it over I won’t open it,” RA chairman Hamish McLennan said. “If [chairman Brent Impey] and Mark [Robinson] want to chat with Clarkie [interim chief executive Rob Clarke] and myself, I think next week’s the week to do it.”

The talks between the southern hemisphere rivals has grown more fractious recently, with McLennan saying NZR was trying to dictate terms in a way that “feels a bit master-servant at the moment”.

South African Rugby’s Jurie Roux, also weighed in to the fray by reminding New Zealand of the binding nature of the Sanzaar agreement saying: “If anybody kicked anyone out of Super Rugby, it was New Zealand kicking themselves out.”

Roux, the SA Rugby chief executive, confirmed recently that the men’s national team will not play any home Tests in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

RA is now actively working on their own plan B, which would see an eight-team competition featuring all five Australian professional outfits, a Fijian Drua team, an Argentinian side and the Japan-based based Sunwolves, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.