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Thread: SANZAAR faces axe as details of NZ Rugby's 'Aratipu' review emerge

  1. #31
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    Hamish McLennan to New Zealand: Play ball now and we’ll owe you

    Wayne Smith
    7:09PM July 12, 2020

    “This is a moment in time and we will rebuild Australian rugby and at some stage in the future we will repay the favour to New Zealand.”

    And with that succinct quote, provided to The Australian on Sunday, Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan hoped to restore a sense of peace to our most important rugby relationship. He only implied it, of course, but that comment is his strongest indication that New Zealand would be allowed to stage the All Blacks’ pool round of the 2027 World Cup if it was prepared to accommodate Australia in its plans for next year’s Super Rugby-style competition.

    Things have become very tense lately in trans-Tasman relations and one would presume that the latest salvo to head Australia’s way – an outburst by former All Blacks coach Steve Hansen – was anything but accidental.

    In an interview with New Zealand media, Hansen insisted the Kiwis owed Australian rugby nothing.

    “But because we are the nation we are and we care about the game more than just ourselves, we bend and buckle a bit,” Hansen said. “I think NZ Rugby are in the mood for having strong discussions … because they only get one shot at it.

    “You don’t want to be diluting the talent pool. And then you have to ask ‘do we want our athletes travelling all around the world as much as they have been?’ If the answer is no, you look internally into New Zealand or maybe Australia (for a competition structure) because it’s not too far away.”

    Hansen indicated that Australia had “gone missing” every time NZ attempted to call on the Anzac spirit but, by way of evidence, could only cite the incident when Australia allegedly stole the co-sharing rights to the 2003 World Cup away from the Kiwis.

    There were doubts over whether the Kiwis could provide advertising-free stadiums for the tournament, a then International Rugby Board requirement, and Australia came to the rescue by volunteering to do the lot.

    Certainly that is not the way Hansen or New Zealand rugby view the episode. Steve Tew, the former NZ Rugby boss, might have mouthed diplomatic platitudes in public, but in private he was always looking for ways to punish Australia. Usually he simply unleashed the All Blacks.

    So despite the fact that incident occurred 17 years ago, it still is colouring New Zealand thinking and when the opportunity arose to get square, the Kiwis seemingly pounced on it.

    With Super Rugby effectively dead and buried, New Zealand has conducted the Aratapu report into what rugby would look like in a post-COVID world and, if the leaks are correct, plan to offer Australia two places, maximum three, in next year’s trans-Tasman competition. Australia, you may recall, has gone for the man, requesting five teams – the four Super Rugby sides, NSW, Queensland, ACT and Melbourne, plus the Western Force.

    “We are very keen to do something with New Zealand but it has to be fair and it has to give us the capacity to grow our game,” McLennan said.

    On the evidence of the weekend, it would be hard to dispute New Zealand’s dismissive assessment of Australian rugby.

    Anyone who watched the Crusaders play the Blues in Christchurch on Saturday would understand why Hansen doesn’t want to see anything that weakens NZ rugby. The match was a gripping contest, played in front of a capacity crowd, the strength, innovation, precision and speed of Aotearoa rugby on display.

    Meanwhile, the Australian-only Super Rugby AU ground along painfully on this side of the ditch. The Waratahs-Western Force match at least was intense and there were passages of play that showed both sides in their best light. That the Force were able to rise to that level after a three-year absence from Super Rugby was seriously impressive and suggests they will be competitive throughout this competition, if their conditioning holds.

    The Melbourne Rebels-Queensland Reds match at Brookvale Oval on Friday night, however, was awful.

    Yes, it was only the second match for the players in four months, while the Kiwis were by now five weeks into their competition. Weather conditions, too, impacted on the spectacle. But the overall package was still tediously dire and even though history was made as the match went into extra time, it still ended in a tame draw as both teams attempted desperately not to lose.

    McLennan doesn’t dispute the stark contrast in trans-Tasman standards but he believes the Kiwi argument is based on a precise moment in time, a snapshot in history. Like South Sydney when the club was cut from the NRL in 2000, Australian rugby is vulnerable right when it most needed to be strong. Yet somehow the Rabbitohs rallied, regained their place in the competition and in 2014 revived their glory days by winning the premiership. Like Russell Crowe, McLennan too, is utterly convinced that what Australia does now will echo in eternity.

    “Team strength is a fair cop,” he said, acknowledging the superiority of the NZ sides. “But we need to work together to solve it.”

    Soon, if events follow a predictable path, Australia will be backed into a familiar corner.

    Either it can trim itself back to three teams – four at the most if the Kiwis are tempted by McLennan’s 2027 World Cup offer – and remain at the cutting edge of the game in a trans-Tasman competition, or it can hive off and play a series with all five Australian sides, supplemented by a couple of Japanese teams and maybe a Residents side from the islands.

    All this revives painful memories of three years ago. Ironically, even while former chairman Cameron Clyne was arguing the “five into four” line, privately he was being advised by a host of former Wallabies that what Australia really needed to do was cut back to three teams.

    And remember the stats circulating in 2017 when Australia had three teams – it won 60 per cent of Super Rugby matches, with four teams it was 50 per cent, with five just 40 per cent.

    Somehow the more things change in Australian rugby, the more they stay the same.

    Wayne Smith
    Senior Sport Writer

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/spo...78b28cb38118b6

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  2. #32
    Champion andrewM's Avatar
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    Is the Force's inclusion a given? What will happen to GRR? Even without HK, South China and Malaysia, a comp with the Force, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, and even one of the other super teams would be a workable solution in the current climate - enough for home and away fixtures and enough variety to keep us fans happy.

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    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    Force, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga- maybe a team from Newcastle/Central Coast? Over a million people in those two regions combined, over 600,000 in the greater Newcastle/Hunter area.

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    Force, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga- maybe a team from Newcastle/Central Coast? Over a million people in those two regions combined, over 600,000 in the greater Newcastle/Hunter area.
    Plus Adelaide (or even a combined Adelaide/Tasmania/NT) side. Partly because Hindmarsh Stadium is excellent for rugby!

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    Ah yes, I recall TIF and Happy dancing to the fire alarm at Hindmarsh

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    Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewM View Post
    Is the Force's inclusion a given? What will happen to GRR? Even without HK, South China and Malaysia, a comp with the Force, Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, and even one of the other super teams would be a workable solution in the current climate - enough for home and away fixtures and enough variety to keep us fans happy.
    If there's even a hint of CV19 still around countries such as Samoa and Tonga will not be interested in exposing their populations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh View Post
    Ah yes, I recall TIF and Happy dancing to the fire alarm at Hindmarsh
    It was the 150th Anniversary of Coopers beers fault

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    Aratipu Report: 'Huge desire' for Pasifika side in 8-10 team Super Rugby competition

    15:32, Jul 17 2020

    New Zealand Rugby won’t say exactly how many teams it wants in its ideal future Super Rugby lineup: but it seems the five existing New Zealand sides and one from the Pacific Islands is mandatory.

    NZR outlined the key areas of focus of the Aratipu Report into the country’s Super Rugby future model for 2021 and beyond, in a release on Thursday.

    It favours between eight and 10 teams in the Super Rugby competition, with a “huge desire” for a Pasifika team.

    That leaves potentially as few as two Australian teams, or as many as four. Four Australian sides began in this year’s Super Rugby season, with the Western Force returning in recent weeks for Australia’s stand-alone competition post Covid-19.

    "The focus is now on confirming the licenses for New Zealand's five current Super Rugby clubs and that work is now underway. We have highly valued the partnership with these five clubs over the last 25 years of the competition and want that to continue," CEO Mark Robinson said in a statement.

    "As well, there is a huge desire to have a Pasifika team involved which we think will be massive for the competition, popular with fans and is a priority for us.

    “As we know, our Pacific nations and Pasifika players in New Zealand have added so much to the rich history of rugby in Oceania and our game here in New Zealand. To have a team that would provide an additional pathway for Pasifika players to perform on the world stage would be hugely exciting.

    "As well, we will also be working with Rugby Australia to seek expressions of interest from their current Super clubs and other interested parties to join the competition and that work will begin in earnest. We are excited and interested to see what our Australian neighbours will bring to this competition.”

    The statement said the NZR board hadn't settled on what the ideal number of teams in the new competition would be, but hoped to have between eight and 10 involved.

    The expression of interest process will begin next week, NZR said.

    The Aratipu Report also contains recommendations relating to fan engagement, the high-performance player pathway and financial sustainability of clubs post-Covid 19.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/...by-competition

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    Rugby: New Zealand Rugby to ditch Sanzaar, reveal plans for new Super Rugby competition

    17 Jul, 2020 3:20pm
    NZ Herald

    New Zealand Rugby is set to ditch Sanzaar as the governing body of Super Rugby, ending a 25-year relationship - in favour of starting a new franchise competition next season.

    In a statement, NZR chief executive Mark Robinson announced a plan which would effectively cut ties with Super Rugby and Sanzaar, the controlling body for the competition.

    The Herald understands Sanzaar would still control the Rugby Championship - a test series contested on a home and away basis between the All Blacks, Wallabies, Springboks and Argentina.

    This follows after the findings of the three-month investigation Aratipu review into the game.

    Robinson said the NZR Board had approved a number of key recommendations aimed at establishing a new competition in 2021 that "fans would love, that was competitive on the field, that players wanted to play in and that drove commercial growth that could be reinvested back into our game.

    "Coming on the back of Covid-19 and its impact on future competitions, the NZR Board has committed to establishing a new professional team competition in 2021. We have also been heartened by the success of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

    "The focus is now on confirming the licenses for New Zealand's five current Super Rugby clubs and that work is now underway. We have highly valued the partnership with these five clubs over the last 25 years of the competition and want that to continue," he said.

    The Herald understands NZR instead plan to keep the format of the hugely popular all-Kiwi Super Rugby Aotearoa intact, but will invite Rugby Australia to tender to be a part of the competition.

    NZR would then decide how many, if any, Australian teams it deems viable of playing in the competition - based on factors including player numbers and welfare and financial strength.

    "We will be working with Rugby Australia to seek expressions of interest from their current Super clubs and other interested parties to join the competition and that work will begin in earnest. We are excited and interested to see what our Australian neighbours will bring to this competition," Robinson said.

    At least one Pacific Island team - believed to be the new Hawaiian-based outfit led by a consortium of former All Blacks including Jerome Kaino, Joe Rokocoko, John Afoa, Benson Stanley, Anthony Tuitavake and Ben Atiga – will be part of the new competition.

    "There is a huge desire to have a Pasifika team involved which we think will be massive for the competition, popular with fans and is a priority for us," Robinson said.

    "As we know, our Pacific nations and Pasifika players in New Zealand have added so much to the rich history of rugby in Oceania and our game here in New Zealand. To have a team that would provide an additional pathway for Pasifika players to perform on the world stage would be hugely exciting."

    Robinson said criteria would be developed as part of the expressions of interest (EOI) process. The EOI process will begin next week and NZR hopes to have it completed by the end of next month.

    "We want teams that are competitive and that fans will want to watch go head to head, week in, week out."

    Robinson said NZR would also be consulting with Sanzaar as part of the ongoing work on establishing the competition.

    Sanzaar was formed in 1995, shortly after rugby's move to professionalism, with the first Super 12 competition taking place in 1996.

    The body was renamed to Sanzaar in 2015, with the inclusion of Argentina.

    - More to come

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/new...ectid=12348779

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  10. #40
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    The interesting bit there was "...seek expressions of interest from their current Super clubs and other interested parties". When the accepted wisdom is that no-one can play rugby in Australia without RA being on-board, hard to see how they see that playing out. Maybe they are just channelling Deadpool, and "I don't take the shits, I just disturb them".

    And Hawaii again, seriously? Good to see they've learned nothing about travel.

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  12. #42
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    I think your google translation had a problem, mine said

    We own rugby and we want to allow whoever the fuck we want to play, but it'll be all on our terms and we'll keep the Lions share of the profits because we're awesome and everybody else is shit.

    Way to stay humble new zealand

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    C'mon the

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    Shirley the part about NZR "seeking expressions of interest" is the death knell of Oz-NZR competition for at least 2021.

    According to "Shasta Translate" that means. "We have the best Rugby teams in the universe. Your mob would struggle to beat the Classic All Blacks right now. So if you back-stabbing under-arm bowlers want to play in our sand pit, you have to get the OK from us first.

    Stuff 'em.

    EDIT: Beat me to it GIGS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    I think your google translation had a problem, mine said

    We own rugby and we want to allow whoever the fuck we want to play, but it'll be all on our terms and we'll keep the Lions share of the profits because we're awesome and everybody else is shit.

    Way to stay humble new zealand
    The good news is this may actually help unite rugby in Aus against the Kiwis. I hope Twiggy does not do a deal with them to have the Force play and then have one or two of the other Australian sides miss out.
    All five Aussies or none ! We have had enough civil war in Aus, lets all unite again to beat the forces of darkness.

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    Sun Herald headlines tomorrow..NZRU kick Rebels out of Super Rugby

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