Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Super Rugby in fresh turmoil as Australia-New Zealand rift emerges

  1. #1
    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5,871
    vCash
    104000

    Super Rugby in fresh turmoil as Australia-New Zealand rift emerges

    From the SMH here

    There is growing frustration at Rugby Australia as last year’s trans-Tasman row appears destined for a messy sequel.

    The readiness of two potential new franchises and New Zealand’s bargaining position are causing consternation with the suggested deadline of late June for a decision on the competition’s future now appearing to be optimistic.

    Despite recognition that their sides must improve after a horror Super Rugby Trans-Tasman campaign, Rugby Australia feels undervalued after recent talks with chairman Hamish McLennan telling stuff.co.nz that significant differences remain.

    There is no agreement on how the rights and revenue for the competition are to be shared, what the competition looks like, and whether Moana Pasifika and Fijian Drua can stand up over the longer-term.

    “Trans Tasman currently feels pretty imbalanced,” McLennan said. “We’re not changing our five teams so we need to work out an equitable attribution to running the competition. New Zealand’s [TV] ratings went up during Trans Tasman, whilst ours went down.”

    The Super Rugby AU final between the Reds and Brumbies in May attracted more than 400k viewers in Australia at its peak, while early figures for the Super Rugby Trans Tasman final between the Blues and Highlanders indicated an audience in the mid-70,000 range.

    Super Rugby teams cost about $9 million a year to run, meaning that over the course of just one five-year broadcast deal the two new franchises will require a combined $90 million in funding.

    When asked if the new franchises would work, McLennan said: “We like the idea of including Fiji and Pasifika but we’re not sure how it’s going to be fully funded over the long term.”

    Rugby Australia has also consistently raised question marks about the competitiveness of the new teams, particularly for 2022.

    Although most New Zealand Super Rugby sides have already completed the bulk of their recruitment and retention for 2022, neither Moana Pasifika nor the Fijian Drua have even announced a head coach.

    ‘The RA board is divided on the best competition structure and we need some time to think it through.’

    Hamish McLennan
    NZ Rugby angered Rugby Australia last year by effectively asking it to ditch two or three Super Rugby sides to be part of New Zealand-run competition, and McLennan repeatedly said that the relationship between the countries was “at its lowest ebb”.

    Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos says it is difficult to assess Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua as NZ Rugby is running the ruler over their Super Rugby bids.

    The diplomatic situation has thawed but is in danger of sliding backwards once more if Rugby Australia feels it has been presented with an offer that it perceives as undervaluing its worth to New Zealand rugby.

    Rugby Australia is thought to be looking at a conference model for Super Rugby Trans Tasman, in which Moana Pasifika will join the New Zealand side of the draw and the Fijian Drua are in the Australian side – if the new franchises stack up.

    The winners from each conference would then face each other in the final, guaranteeing that one side from the Australian conference would be in the final.

    That would raise questions about the integrity of the competition, given New Zealand’s dominance of Super Rugby Trans Tasman, but underscores RA’s reluctance to walk away from the domestic competition that revived interest in the Australian game this year.

    “The RA board is divided on the best competition structure and we need some time to think it through,” McLennan said. “[RA chief executive] Andy has some innovative ideas on a new, suitable competition.”

    NZ Rugby is thought to be in the final stages of its deal with private equity company Silver Lake, which also requires the blessing of the provincial unions and the players’ union.

    However, a failure to land a full trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition would frustrate New Zealand players, coaches and Super Rugby clubs, who have repeatedly urged NZ Rugby to establish a round-robin, 10- or 12-team format for 2022 and beyond.

    A full trans-Tasman competition provides more content to Sky in New Zealand (five games a weekend compared to two) and the strength of the Kiwi sides means fans remain engaged for longer in the competition.

    However, that preferred outcome is now in real danger, despite Rugby Australia recognising the high-performance benefits.

    “We’re not quite sure yet of the best trans-Tasman model for next year and beyond,” McLennan said. “Whilst we got towelled, it was probably the best learning we’ve had in terms of understanding what we need to do. Bravo to New Zealand.”

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

    Exile
    Sydney


    Oracle of Reality

  2. #2
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rockingham
    Posts
    19,345
    vCash
    7176800
    I remember reading that one yesterday It sounds to me like a lot of speculation but not all of it baseless. The key terms in my reading were

    The RA board is divided on the best competition structure and we need some time to think it through

    Trans Tasman currently feels pretty imbalanced,” McLennan said. “We’re not changing our five teams so we need to work out an equitable attribution to running the competition.

    and

    Rugby Australia CEO Andy Marinos says it is difficult to assess Moana Pasifika and the Fijian Drua as NZ Rugby is running the ruler over their Super Rugby bids.

    None of this is news (OK the board being divided on the best competition model hasn't been reported in anything I've seen but is the Rugby Australia Board not agreeing on the best solution really news?), some of it is raking over old muck to try and make a story, some of it is based on current happenings.

    I think it's logical that New Zealand Rugby would be questioning our ability to compete with 5 teams, but since the clear #5 on the pecking order is the Force, I think NZR would give up on the whole "cut a team" argument. The NZ media is much more positive about the Force than the Oz media, sometimes excessively so IMHO (the herald placed us above both the Reds and the Brumbies in the Power Rankings, and I think even above an NZ team). I think the "plucky hard luck story" that is the Force is a good story to fill column inches in the NZ psyche because it contains a subtle but powerful dig at the disaster that is Rugby Management in Australia along with having a pretty compelling underdog story. Force is also the team most likely to be a place to develop young Kiwis who don't make any of their Super Rugby teams without the pesky concern of them being picked for another national side (since we all know nobody from the Force will be picked for the Wallabies on merit)

    I suspect the sticking point is the PI teams and, specifically, where will they play. NZ is the sole arbiter of that process and seems quite happy to water down Super Rugby Aotearoa with new franchises as long as they're not Australian and they might receive some funding from World Rugby to have 60-odd Pacific Islanders living in New Zealand and playing rugby (what's the bet the license offered to the teams matches the residency period they'd need for the players to qualify as All Blacks?)

    Australia haven't made any steps to organise this, perhaps it's because Rugby Australia are slow on their feet (slow of brain more like) but I think it's a lot more likely that NZR are a lot more arrogant and think that they can get away with it. I reckon NZR will resist housing one of "their" PI teams in Australia for reasons I've outlined above

    Pissing match will ensue

    Both sides will hurl insults for a bit

    McLennan will likely hold his ground (he did it before, no reason to think he won't again)

    The story will be good for millions of clicks

    We'll end up with a compromise and a story of Andy Marinos and whoever the NZR dude is now - in suits, barefoot on a beach throwing a rugby ball around really badly (the beach might be in Auckland this time)

    Am I too cynical?

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    C'mon the

  3. #3
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    981
    vCash
    5320000
    At the end of the day Sky NZ, Nine/Stan, Silver Lake and Twiggy will call the shots for next year. Not RA or NZRU

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  4. #4
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rockingham
    Posts
    19,345
    vCash
    7176800

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    C'mon the

  5. #5
    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    5,871
    vCash
    104000
    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    Blah Blah Blah

    Am I too cynical?
    Most Definitely

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

    Exile
    Sydney


    Oracle of Reality

Similar Threads

  1. New Zealand vs Australia Rugby
    By asdasdas in forum Rugby
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 13-10-18, 08:21
  2. Rugby World Cup Final - Australia vs New Zealand
    By jargan83 in forum Front Page News
    Replies: 117
    Last Post: 04-11-15, 15:09
  3. Rugby World Cup Final - Australia vs New Zealand
    By jargan83 in forum Rugby World Cup
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 30-10-15, 07:32
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-11-10, 12:49

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •