New Zealand Rugby (NZR) outlined the key areas of focus for the review of the future New Zealand Super Rugby model.
The three-month review, known as Aratipu (growth, regeneration, invigoration), was overseen by the presidents of the five Super Rugby clubs Aotearoa, representatives of provincial and private investors, as well as NZR President Brent Impey and the CEO Mark Robinson. New Zealand’s 26 provincial unions also contributed to the review and was presented yesterday to the NZR Board.
NZR Chief Executive Mark Robinson said the NZR Board had approved a number of key recommendations aimed at establishing a new competition in 2021 that “fans would love, if it were competitive on the field, that players wanted to play and to drive business growth that could reinvest in our game. “
“Following the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on future competitions, the NZR Board is committed to establishing a new professional team competition in 2021. We have also been encouraged by the success of Super Rugby Aotearoa.
“The focus is now on confirming the licenses for the current five New Zealand Super Rugby clubs and that work is already underway. We have greatly valued the partnership with these five clubs during the last 25 years of competition and we want it to continue.” , said. said.
“Additionally, there is a great desire to engage a Pasifika team that we believe will be huge for the competition, popular with fans and a top priority for us. As we know, our Pacific nations and the Pasifika players in New Zealand have added So much to the rich history of rugby in Oceania and our game here in New Zealand. Having a team that provides an additional path for Pasifika players to perform on the world stage would be very exciting, “said Robinson.
“Additionally, we will also work with Rugby Australia to seek expressions of interest from their current Super Clubs and other stakeholders to join the competition and that work will begin in earnest. We are excited and interested to see what our Australian neighbors will do and what they can add up to. to this competition, “he added.
Robinson said the criteria would be developed as part of the expressions of interest (EOI) process, adding that the Board had not decided on what the ideal number of teams would be in the new competition, but hoped to have eight to ten teams involved. The EOI process will begin next week and NZR expects to complete it by the end of next month.
“We want competitive teams and that fans want to see them come face to face, week after week.”
Robinson said NZR will also consult with SANZAAR as part of the ongoing work to establish the competition.
The Aratipu report also contains recommendations related to fan participation, the path of high-performance players, and the financial sustainability of clubs. Robinson said NZR would now work closely with provincial unions and Super Clubs on how the changes would be implemented to ensure that rugby can continue to grow and take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.