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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19