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, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
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