Taranaki keen for Super Rugby
Cape Town - The Taranaki Rugby Football Union from New Zealand has expressed an interest to own a Super Rugby franchise.
According to Taranaki's website, the union will be submitting an expression of interest to the New Zealand Rugby Union with regard to ownership of a Super Rugby franchise.
"Careful consideration has been given to entering this process, and Taranaki Rugby only does so with the best interests of New Zealand rugby at heart. However, Taranaki Rugby has ambitions to host a Super Rugby franchise, and has the business model, as well as the financial and public support to do so," the Taranaki union said in a statement.
Taranaki's first preference for entry into Super Rugby is to expand the competition and it believes with the right competition structures in place, this is a realistic opportunity.
"Taranaki Rugby also understands the broad rationale under-pinning the current geographical arrangements are in the interests of New Zealand rugby. That said, if any existing franchise host was unable to promote a model that was acceptable to the NZRU, then Taranaki is ready and able to be considered."
Taranaki believes the current New Zealand model of 19 professional and semi-professional teams is unsustainable.
The union feels there should be an expansion in the number of Super Rugby teams, balanced by a significant reduction in the salary cap for payments to players in the current ITM Cup, which is New zeland's version of the Currie Cup.
"This would allow an ambitious union like Taranaki to become a franchise host, while reducing the overall costs to New Zealand rugby, and hopefully eliminating the problems currently being experienced by the Otago Rugby Union."
This comes after the Otago Rugby Union was placed in liquidation last Friday.
Taranaki is currently part of the Hurricanes franchise.