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Sanzar forms expansion plan for Super Rugby

Super Rugby organiser Sanzar has announced that a “preferred model” has been drawn up for the southern hemisphere rugby union competition to expand to 17 teams from 2016 through the addition of new clubs from Argentina and South Africa.

Sanzar, which is the umbrella body for the Australian, New Zealand and South African unions, held a meeting in Sydney today to discuss the future of Super Rugby including possible formats that could be presented to broadcasters.

Sanzar’s current broadcast agreement is set to expire at the end of 2015, and the tournament, which currently contains five teams each from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, was already expected to expand to include the sixth South African franchise in the shape of Port Elizabeth’s Southern Kings.

Argentina has become increasingly visible in international rugby union in recent years, and the national team joined the Tri Nations tournament – featuring Australia, New Zealand and South Africa – in 2012.

Speaking following today’s meeting, Sanzar chief executive Greg Peters said: “Encouraging progress was made and we now have a preferred model that involves six teams from South Africa and a new team from Argentina. The model will now be taken to the national unions for approval before Sanzar presents its final position to broadcasters and fans in due course.”