New Zealand seeks to establish new team competition in 2021

New competition being discussed would as a priority include a Pacific Island squad

Fans in Wellington watch the Hurricanes take on the Highlanders earlier this week. Photograph: Inpho

Fans in Wellington watch the Hurricanes take on the Highlanders earlier this week. Photograph: Inpho

 

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) said on Friday its board had committed to establishing a new professional team competition in 2021 with eight to 10 sides, including a Pacific Island squad.

NZR had formed a committee in April with its five Super Rugby teams to review operating models and plot the way forward for the domestic game, amid a shutdown in global sport because of the novel coronavirus.

Outlining the findings of its review called “Aratipu”, the Maori word for growth, NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said the board had approved recommendations for the competition.

“Coming on the back of Covid-19 and its impact on future competitions, the NZR Board has committed to establishing a new professional team competition in 2021,” Robinson said in a statement.

“We have also been heartened by the success of Investec Super Rugby Aotearoa. The focus is now on confirming licenses for New Zealand’s five current Super Rugby clubs and that work is now underway.” Robinson said it was a priority to have a Pacific Island team take part.

“There is a huge desire to have a Pasifika team involved which we think will be massive for the competition, popular with fans and is a priority for us,” he said.

“To have a team that would provide an additional pathway for Pasifika players to perform on the world stage would be hugely exciting.”

Robinson said that NZR would work with Rugby Australia to seek expressions of interest from its clubs and other interested parties to join the competition.

It would also consult Sanzaar - the governing body of Super Rugby which includes the Australian, South African and Argentine rugby unions, he said.

“Rugby Australia acknowledges NZR’s preferred position following their announcement today ... and look forward to working constructively with NZR in the coming weeks,” Rugby Australia said in a statement.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.