The football doesn't stop!

The 2014 SWC might be over, but the PSL and English Premiership are around the corner! Have your say on our Forum!


    NZRU backs S15 expansion

    2014-02-28 09:10

    Wellington - New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew says the expansion of the Super Rugby competition from 15 to 17 teams in 2016 will not result in a longer season or more travel for competing teams.

    Tew on Friday announced New Zealand's support for plans to expand the Southern Hemisphere competition by including a sixth South African team and a team from Argentina. In doing so, he tried to hose down vehement opposition from New Zealand Super Rugby coaches to the proposed changes which, they fear, will add to an already considerable burden on players.

    Tew said the proposed expansion would result in a season which would be one week shorter that the current format and said the travel required of teams "will be no worse than it is now."

    Tew's comments are unlikely to mollify coaches and other Super Rugby stakeholders in New Zealand who were consulted on the proposed changes to the tournament and now believe their opinions have been ignored.

    Dave Rennie, coach of the Hamilton-based Chiefs, has led outspoken opposition to the changes from coaches, saying "while we've been consulted I'm not sure we're being listened to."

    Rennie said New Zealand coaches opposed the current conference system which requires annual home and away derby matches between teams in each of the tournament's three regions - New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. He said they favored a full, 14-week round-robin among all 15 teams in the competition which would shorten the season by two weeks.

    "The New Zealand coaches wanted a legitimate competition where everyone plays everyone," Rennie said. "All the other scenarios include more teams, more travel and more time away from home

    "Their proposal has the same amount of games, but it's not necessarily in the best interests of player welfare."

    David Moffett, the former chief executive of the New Zealand and Welsh rugby unions and Australia's National Rugby League, said the changes were politically motivated, designed to placate South Africa. He said the expansion would emphasise "quantity over quality."

    "It's absolute insanity," Moffett said. "People will get fed up. The quality of rugby will just go down further."

    Tew rejected those criticisms on Friday. He said the new format would result in a shorter competition "and, in fact, if this is all agreed we will have one less week of Super Rugby, which we think is a win for New Zealand rugby."

    He also addressed skepticism about Argentina's ability to field a team of Super Rugby caliber. All of Argentina's top players play professionally in Europe and are unlikely to be available for a home-based Super Rugby side.

    Tew said the establishment of a Super Rugby team in Argentina would allow them to keep their next generation of players at home.

    Read More On:  nzru steve tew rugby

    Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

    Comment on this story
    Add your comment
    Comment 0 characters remaining
    Live Video Streaming
    • SS3
      Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    • SS4
      Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    • SS5
      Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    • SS7
      Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @
    Video Highlights
    Sport Talk


    02 August 2014
    • Waratahs v Crusaders, Sydney 11:40


    26 July 2014
    19 July 2014
    12 July 2014
    11 July 2014
    06 July 2014
    05 July 2014
    04 July 2014
    28 June 2014
    27 June 2014
    31 May 2014
    30 May 2014
    24 May 2014
    23 May 2014
    18 May 2014
    17 May 2014
    16 May 2014
    11 May 2014
    10 May 2014
    09 May 2014
    03 May 2014
    02 May 2014
    26 April 2014
    25 April 2014
    19 April 2014
    18 April 2014
    12 April 2014
    11 April 2014
    05 April 2014
    04 April 2014
    29 March 2014
    28 March 2014
    22 March 2014
    21 March 2014
    15 March 2014
    14 March 2014
    08 March 2014
    07 March 2014
    01 March 2014
    28 February 2014
    23 February 2014
    22 February 2014
    21 February 2014
    15 February 2014


    Rank Team P W Pts


    “Advantage is a great part of rugby, says Tank Lanning, but it allows for lots of personal interpretation, hence Victor Matfield’s tirade. ”

    Opinion Poll

    The 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby final will be contested between the Waratahs and Crusaders. Who is your money on?

    Soccer World Cup quiz!

    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.