Global expansion for Super Rugby?
Global expansion for Super Rugby?SHARE
SANZAR CEO Greg Peters says they are mulling over expanding Super Rugby to Canada, America, Argentina and Asia from 2016.
Canada and the United States have been included in this year's Pacific Nations Cup while Argentina joined the SANZAR nations in the expanded Rugby Championship from last year.
Super Rugby’s five-year broadcast deal expires in 2016 and Peters said SANZAR are considering overhauling the competition from a southern hemisphere tournament to a global spectacle.
"We are considering whether or not we will include new territories in Super Rugby and one of the factors we'll be weighing up is their competitiveness," Peters told The Australian.
"Super Rugby in its present form is a pretty successful model … and we are not going to water it down."
"But we'd be derelict in our duty if we didn't consider expanding into areas.
"The United States is a very big market and so is Japan and Asia generally."
"Ultimately it all comes down to what is in the best interests of the three SANZAR parties."
Peters conceded that the travel factor would have to be weighed up as Super Rugby already demands the most travel of any sports league in the world.
"Player welfare is a big consideration,” Peters said.
“That said, the conference system does provide us with a degree of flexibility, either in terms of adding new conferences or adding new teams to existing conferences."
This year’s tournament will see the introduction of a new franchise in the Southern Kings, who will replace the Johannesburg-based Lions in the South African conference.
The Lions will have an opportunity to regain their place in the competition when they meet the last-placed South African side in a two-legged promotion/relegation series later this year.