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    SARU gets Super Rugby wish

    2013-09-03 15:00
    Cape Town - South Africa will in future be able to field six teams in the Super Rugby competition, it was confirmed on Tuesday.

    It's no secret that the SA Rugby Union (SARU) wants to see the Super Rugby competition be expanded to 16 teams to accommodate all six SA franchises, including the Kings - who played in this year's event at the expense of the Lions.

    But the Kings won't form part of next year's event after they lost a promotion-relegation series to the Lions last month.

    This prompted SARU to keep pushing SANZAR for an extension of the event, with their wish now seemingly set to come true.

    This expansion from the current 15-team competition is likely to come into effect from 2016, when the new Super Rugby broadcasting deals come into effect.

    According to SuperSport Blitz, SANZAR boss Greg Peters gave SARU CEO Jurie Roux this assurance on Tuesday.

    SuperSport also announced the news via their Twitter account.

    "SANZAR CEO Greg Peters & SARU CEO Jurie Roux confirm SA will have a 6th #SuperRugby team when the competition’s new structure is finalised."

    According to Rugby365's website, Peters confirmed the news in Sydney where talks are underway about the expansion of the competition when the current contract runs out in 2015.

    "We are very keen on making sure that we retain Super Rugby as the Southern Hemisphere's pre-eminent international provincial rugby competition," he said.

    "By doing that it has to be one competition.

    "We have yet to determine the structure beneath that and the number of conferences involved but what I can assure you of though is that there will be six teams from South Africa."

    Roux expressed his relief at settling the matter and confirmed that no matter what structure is adopted, South Africa will have six representatives in Super Rugby from 2016.

    "We have got the six teams entrenched now, that is a given.

    "All models will be built around six teams so we are very happy about getting that out of the way as it has always been a bone of contention.

    "That causes a number of other logistical issues and those are the things that we have to go through.

    "We have to work a model that will work not only for us but also for our partners in this relationship," he said.

    While there is still some work to be done around a revised format to accommodate all three SANZAR countries, Peters expressed a need to expand the competition beyond the traditional borders.

    Suggestions of adding teams from Argentina, Japan and the Pacific Islands have also been brought to light, something Peters has been mindful of.

    "Argentina have expressed their aspirations to be part of it and they have played in the Rugby Championship so it would be logical for them to be included.

    "There are certainly some elements in New Zealand that would like to see a sixth franchise in New Zealand.

    "We should also explore moving into Asia.

    "At the moment all of those things are sort of in the melting pot and we haven't come to a final resolution on it yet," said Peters.

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