Kiwi boss asks for 'patience' on changes

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 08:13
Large super rugby trophy with team logos 2 800

NEWS: New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew acknowledged frustration at delays in announcing Super Rugby's revamped format, but said implementing tough decisions took time.

The Southern Hemisphere competition's governing body SANZAAR announced almost two weeks ago that a shake-up was imminent, but since then has been mute on the issue.

In the meantime, players at teams potentially facing the axe cannot plan their futures and rugby fans are in the dark about how the competition will look.

"It's a little bit frustrating, I can understand that," Tew told reporters.

"Some tough decisions have been taken but they require consultation and sign-off by a variety of parties and that work is underway."

The competition straddles 16 time zones and four continents, resulting in complaints of lopsided contests, taxing travel times and a fragmented conference system seen as too confusing for fans.

Problems intensified in 2016 when Super Rugby expanded from 15 teams to 18 with the introduction of Japan's Sunwolves, Argentina's Jaguares and South Africa's Southern Kings.

It is widely expected that the number of teams will be trimmed back to 15, with South Africa losing two of its six teams and Australia cutting one of five.

However, speculation has run rife in the absence of any concrete information from SANZAAR, with suggestions of mergers and questions about the competition's long-term viability.

Australian Rugby Players' Association President Dean Mumm said his members had been left in "limbo" and Tew said he felt sorry for those whose futures were under a cloud.

"We would all have empathy for anyone that's subject to a change process... that's why we're working very, very hard to get it done as fast as we can," Tew said.

He was unable to give a timeframe on when SANZAAR would release details of the shake-up.

Agence France-Presse

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 28 April 2017
Highlanders v Stormers 07h35 Dunedin
Cardiff Blues v Zebre 18h05 Cardiff
Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
Leinster v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 RDS Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors 19h00 Kingston Park
Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
Cheetahs v Crusaders 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Munster 17h05 Stadio Monigo
Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10