Super expansion surfaces again

Fri, 09 Aug 2013 08:33
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The prospect of a Super Rugby expansion has resurfaced in the Australia media, who are obsessed with their trans-Tasman alliance.

The prospect of a Super Rugby expansion has resurfaced in the Australia media, who are obsessed with their trans-Tasman alliance.

According to the most recent reports in the Aussie media Super Rugby series could be expanded to an 18-team competition in 2016, with the possibility of including sides from Argentina and Japan, The Australian newspaper reported on Friday.

The three SANZAR countries - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia who each currently provide five teams - are discussing potential models for the competition, the paper quoted the Australian Rugby Union as saying.

The beginning of a new broadcast agreement in 2016 will give SANZAR the chance to expand the competition for the third time in 10 years, the paper said.

But South Africa's desire to field six teams could result in an 18-team competition to maintain the three conferences, it added.

It is unlikely Australia or New Zealand would have the depth to field another team but teams from Argentina, Japan or the United States could play in the Australian and New Zealand conferences to even up the numbers, The Australian said.

"There is some demand to have six South African teams beyond 2016. If Super Rugby was to go to Super 17 or 18, that's one model we are looking at," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

"There are some other models that include different structures from the African side and the Australasian side.

"They are still in development. No decisions have been made. We are targeting to have a clear decision on that by the end of the year."

Argentina already compete with the three SANZAR nations in the Rugby Championship, which was effectively an expansion of the Tri-Nations.

Pulver said it was possible that the Australian conference would consider foreign expansion teams.

"The advent of Super Rugby over the last 18 years has been a wonderful development for rugby in the Southern Hemisphere. We want to keep improving it," he said.

"One of the options we are looking at is what is the perfect mix of teams and countries being represented.

"Part of that clearly is Argentina, who have been a wonderful addition to the Rugby Championship. They would be very enthusiastic about finding a way of getting into Super Rugby."

This season's Rugby Championship kicks off on August 17 when the Wallabies host the All Blacks in Sydney and South Africa face Argentina in Bloemfontein.

AFP

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Sat, 18 November 2017
Worcester Warriors v Northampton Saints 12h00 Sixways
Italy v Argentina 13h00 Florence
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Wales v Georgia 14h30 Cardiff
England v Australia 15h00 Twickenham
Wasps v Newcastle Falcons 15h30 Ricoh Arena
Ireland v Fiji 16h30 Aviva Stadium
Scotland v New Zealand 17h15 Edinburgh
France v South Africa 19h45 Paris
Sun, 19 November 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Harlequins 14h00 Sandy Park
Leicester Tigers v Bath 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Fri, 24 November 2017
Ospreys v Glasgow Warriors 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Ulster v Treviso 18h05 Kingspan Stadium
Leinster v Dragons 18h35 RDS Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Connacht 18h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Gloucester 18h45 Kingston Park
Leicester Tigers v Worcester Warriors 18h45 Welford Road
Sale Sharks v Northampton Saints 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Fri, 17 November 2017
Gloucester v Saracens 23 | 17
Tue, 14 November 2017
France XV v New Zealand 23 | 28
Sat, 11 November 2017
France v New Zealand 18 | 38
Ireland v South Africa 38 | 3
Wales v Australia 21 | 29
England v Argentina 21 | 8
Scotland v Samoa 44 | 38
Italy v Fiji 19 | 10
Sat, 04 November 2017
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 37 | 8
Connacht v Cheetahs 23 | 15
Edinburgh v Ospreys 37 | 10
Barbarians v New Zealand 22 | 31
Kings v Ulster 36 | 43
Japan v Australia 30 | 63
Fri, 03 November 2017
Scarlets v Treviso 20 | 8
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28