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Home Unions causing Super break

Mon, 12 May 2014 15:51
Bill-pulver-mic
We are willing to push hard
Quote-end

The reluctance of the Home Unions to come to the party is what is preventing a more acceptable global season to be implemented.

It has long been suggested that the selfish nature of Home Union officials - those from England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland - has been at the heart of the troubled and scattered international and domestic calendars.

While their Southern hemisphere counterparts - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - are keen to move their competitions around, the men from up north remain as stubborn as the proverbial mule.

Most officials south of the equator prefer a diplomatic approach when addressing the Gordian knot, but Bill Pulver - CEO of the Australian Rugby Union - has decided to air the sport's dirty laundry in public.

In a recent media teleconference, when discussing the expansion of Super Rugby in 2016, Pulver said SANZAR would happily move their Test windows and other competitions, but have found their counterparts from the Home Unions unwilling to consider similar concessions.

SANZAR have been keen to move the June Test window to July to allow for Super Rugby to be completed before the international season starts.

It would avoid the current situation of a competition that is 80 percent complete and then breaks for a month, to be resumed after the mid-year Tests.

"There has been discussions," Pulver said in the teleconference, adding: "But it will be a long, tough process.

"I am on an IRB committee with the CEOs of New Zealand and South Africa.

"From a Southern Hemisphere perspective there is an obvious preference to move that June window to July.

"Sadly, it is not a speedy process.

"You can imagine some of the barriers we've come up against from the Home Nations [England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland] in terms of their reluctance to change."

Pulver said there is a concerted effort on SANZAR's part to achieve that outcome, but it will take time.

"We do not like the fact that the Super Rugby competition is not continuous, so it is an outcome we are willing to push hard for.

"However, it is certainly not an easy fix."

It is also a well-known fact the Home Unions' unwillingness to move the Six Nations from its current February/March date is causing complication with other international dates and basically preventing a more acceptable global calendar that would give players a much longer break and moire time off.

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