New SANZAR boss values SA

2010-08-24 18:15

Sydney - Newly-appointed SANZAR head Greg Peters will seek to placate disaffected South African rugby officials as one of his first tasks when he takes charge of the fractious southern hemisphere governing body.

Perennially tetchy relations between the South African Rugby Union (SARU) and their Australian and New Zealand counterparts have hit rocky ground in recent weeks after Springboks coach Peter de Villiers was hauled before a tribunal for suggesting referees had favoured New Zealand in the teams' opening Tri-Nations matches.

South African media have reported SARU is mulling quitting SANZAR, which runs the Super rugby competition and the annual Tri-Nations tournament, at the end of the current five-year broadcasting deal.

SARU has played down the reports as the usual boardroom headbutting between partners.

"Obviously South Africa is a huge part of the SANZAR alliance both in terms of the money generated out of broadcasting, the teams that contribute to Super rugby and the Tri-Nations competition, so it's hard to envisage a future without South Africa involved in some way shape or form," New Zealander Peters said in a conference call on Tuesday.

"One of my first tasks is to get to grips with some of the issues that they're facing and trying to understand that a whole lot better and - with an independent hat on - look at the whole situation so that we can take this thing forward with the three countries, and soon to be four countries in 2012."

Current CEO of Super side Wellington Hurricanes, Peters will start the Sydney-based role as SANZAR's first permanent head in November. The position was previously shared between the partners on a rotational basis.

He will oversee the Super rugby competition's move to a 15-team conference-based system next year with the addition of the Melbourne Rebels, and the Tri-Nations' expansion to a four-team competition in 2012 with Argentina set to join.

The selection of the Rebels as the 15th Super side last year upset South African officials who had plumped for the Eastern Cape-based Southern Kings, who enjoy strong political backing from the ANC government.

De Villiers' hearing, ordered by New Zealand Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew, the last rotational head of SANZAR, further aggravated SARU, which has previously threatened to ditch the southern hemisphere in favour of joining the northern hemisphere's Six Nations.

Peters said the establishment of a truly independent body would help defuse SARU's grievances and noted that the country's players' union had backed southern hemisphere rugby in a statement last week.

"(All three partners) are uniquely different," he said. "Everyone's got a different perspective on it. Rugby being what it is, is a very competitive game and (there are) some pretty strong personalities involved. And that's part of the strength of what we all love about our sport."


  • mike - 2010-08-24 18:02

    I think we should seriously approach our northern friends and see what our alternatives are.

  • Theo - 2010-08-24 18:16

    He is going to look at us "with an independent hat on"? What a joke. South African rugby has been diluted in the last 15 years and Australian rugby strengthened. Please please please lose SANZAR and rebuild a powerful rugby competition in South Africa. We have the players, the stadiums and the fans. Re-think what we do. Please SARFU lose your SANZAR partners.

  • Carl Muller - 2010-08-24 18:43

    We don't need them, they need our money. F................them.

  • Wm - 2010-08-24 18:56

    I agree with Theo. I lived in Sydney from 1995 - 2006 and we(SA Rugby) had the most awful time (rugby wise) during this period. We strengthened the Aussie RU immensly. They had no RU to speak of, a few clubs in Sydney, a few in Brisbane and that was it. I always said SANZAR only helped the Kiwi's and the Aussies and did a great dis-service to SA rugby. SA is the power behind Rugby Union we should protect it as much as possible. I know the $$ count and everyone is making a good living out of the deal. But please SAVE OUR RUGBY!

  • Dave - 2010-08-24 19:49

    Its all about the money. Bring NZ and Aus to their senses by resigning from SANZAR and let's see then what the world offers us.

  • dkkw - 2010-08-24 20:02

    @mike, its your northern friends' referees who was so obviously biased against the boks. Dont know what alternatives you will get there?

  • webb - 2010-08-24 20:30

    Whatever the merits of SARU's annoyance with SANZAR, it is particularly galling that the "final straw" was the judicial hearing into our clown of a coach Pivvy. For SANZAR relations to be in tatters because we have to defend the idiot of world rugby is just an embarrasing mess laid squarely on the shoulders of a gutless SARU board who apppointed the fool in the first place. Pivvy cannot get through a single press conference without coming up with one moronic babble after another. SA - world champs, with a national disgrace as a coach. Only arrogant ANC cadres can be happy with this who believe they are above world opinion.

  • JimB - 2010-08-24 20:40

    Get out of SANZAR - NZ and Australia will be weakened, the Northern hemisphere sides will improve, but would not overtake S.A. no competition then for S.A. We will always be best. Is that what you all want?

  • Burtfred - 2010-08-24 21:06

    The Kiwis and the Aussies can go and get stuffed. They (generaly speaking) regard South Africans as stupid and backward. We should shift our rugby partnership to Argentina and Europe, whilst developing the game in countries like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Zambia, etc.

  • stompies - 2010-08-24 22:42

    "so it's hard to envisage a future without South Africa involved in some way shape or form," Guess what, it is IMPOSSIBLE witjout SA

  • Gawie - 2010-08-25 00:17

    To WM - I also lived in Sydney in 1999. If as u claim rugby was played by so few clubs & so weak , how the hell did they manage to win the Rugby world cup in 1999, beating the mighty Boks in the semis?

  • Koos - 2010-08-25 00:17

    I agree with Burtfred, I'd rather see the Boks smash the Poms and French on a weekly basis, than watching the Sanzar cheat all HELL out of the game with their Biased, simple and blind refs. No more getting up at obscene times in the morning to watch some rugby. And we can have a single tour to NZ to give them a snot klap every second year.

  • Murray - 2010-08-25 01:38

    Sad, as a South African currenlty working in Australia, Rugby as we know it is only played and watched by a very few here in Aus. Union, as it is known here, is only the fourth tier ball sport after AFL, NRL and Soccer. If there was no Super14/15 there would be no rugby in Australia outside Sydney or Bribane. If the South African Pollies could keep out of rugby South Africa would not only be the power house of world rugby but also the administrative king-pins in SANZAR. SARFU is so much bigger and stronger than ARU and NZRU combined, it boggles the mind that they [NZ/Aus] rule the roost over a sport that is bigger in SA than in Aus and NZ combined.

  • Shaun - 2010-08-25 05:52

    Lets get out of SANZAR and develope rugby in Africa. We dont need those cheating New Zealanders and arrogant Aussies. I enjoy watching domestic rugby more than S14 and Tri-Nations.

  • kevin - 2010-08-25 06:38

    South Africa out of SANZOO now. Let the kiwis and aussies go play with themselves, they have been cheating us since we joined this comp and take a lot of money off us. Forget these clowns lets go to Europe.

  • What - 2010-08-25 07:09

    Ja Nee! Sê jy met die doller tekens in jou oë, blerrie kiwi!!!

  • Observer - 2010-08-25 07:19

    What a bunch of absolute morons you lot are ! NZ , and AUS need SA money ? What planet are you people on ? must be planet of the apes ! SA rand R 6.49 to one little AUS $ , R 5.15 to one NZ dollar , yes go and join the Northern Hemisphere ( England and co ) ...R 11.32 to one pommie pound !! You lot will be paying R 1000.00 a ticket to go and watch a game in Soweto against your Northern Hemishere mates and not R 500,00 ,in other words your Rand is worth jack shit and you have the audaciousness to say NZ and Aus need SA ?? no wonder they think the South Africans are backward , with comments like these , at the end of the day it's all about the money honey , i dont think SA could afford to put money into a Northern Hemisphere pool considering the the state of the nation ( striking , unemployment etc ) and by the way SANZAR is SA's rugby money lifeline dont cut off the hand that feeds the mouth , i think it's the other way around NZ and AUS rugby certainly will not miss SA if they pull out ,and good luck with setting up an all African competition , mind you when Kenya beat the Boks you can honestly complain about the "Zambian" ref .Good ridance .we dont need you !!!

  • Seamus - 2010-08-25 07:35

    GET OUT of SANZAR. Let us rather be part of the 6 Nations. The time zones are better for TV broadcasts and watching and there is no jet-lag when the teams travel to and fro. Alternatively, let us start our own competition including Argentina.

  • Ivan - 2010-08-25 07:43

    I'm no big rugby fan but it seems to me that all the trouble lies with bad & inconsistent refereeing. SANZAR has to lose this outmoded British outlook that the referee is always right old boy & put them under as much scrutiny as the players. Rugby is now a professional game after all with a lot of money involved. The referee's performance should be scrutinized after every game & the findings made known not only to an inner circle clique run by Paddy No'Brain, but to the public at large. I read some horrific figures the other day to the effect that SA had a yellow card given for every 6 penalties against, Australia 7, & NZ something in the 30s! How is this remotely possible? If a referee doesn't shape up, then I'm sorry he should be fired. And talking of neutral referees I don't think that when SA play Oz or NZ, a ref from the other one of those countries can be considered as such. And when one of the British Isles teams play against SH teams, how can we truly think a referee from one of the other British Isles nations can be truly "neutral"? The whole thing stinks.

  • JAF - 2010-08-25 07:53

    At the end of the day ... I'd rather watch Super Rugby and Tri-Nations rugby between SA, NZ and Aus anyday.

  • King - 2010-08-25 08:01

    This gu look like Bruce Willis

  • neill - 2010-08-25 08:13

    @ Observer Please calm down and think before you speak. if you knew anything about rugby you would know that SA contributes the majority of the income through broadcast rights and sponsorships in ZANZAR. its not all about strength of the rand. Go and do some research and you'll see that NZ and Aus do infact NEED us

  • neill - 2010-08-25 08:17

    @ Observer Please calm down and think before you speak. if you knew anything about rugby you would know that SA contributes the majority of the income through broadcast rights and sponsorships in ZANZAR. its not all about strength of the rand. Go and do some research and you'll see that NZ and Aus do infact NEED us

  • Kiwi in Vienna - 2010-08-25 08:25

    "The selection of the Rebels as the 15th Super side last year upset South African officials who had plumped for the Eastern Cape-based Southern Kings, who enjoy strong political backing from the ANC government". Pardon my ignorance folks but can anyone explain what this sentence means? I thought that sport and politics were supposed to be seperate.

  • BladeRunner - 2010-08-25 08:26

    You commentors are pathetic. You would prefer to go North for what? So we can have less competition? What about the complete difference in rugby seasons? The Tri-Nations and the Super 14 are the most competitive competitions on the planet, and you want to leave them because you feel that you are ganged up on? Ag shame... You make us Bok supporters sound like a bunch of bleating little girls, thanks a lot. Please just shut up. We do very well in these competitions, in spite of all your complaints - and please shut up about biased refs as well, it is getting rather lame now. Our boys need to play better, and they need a decent coach, and decent administration. Those are our problems, not SANZAR. Now go sit in the corner.

  • Ivan@Observer - 2010-08-25 08:31

    I won't go so far as to call you a "moron" - I'll leave that to you - but your argument about exchange rates is not without flaws. I hate to tell you this but SA rugby has a very strong base, player- and supporter-wise, and I would guess that a lot of Saru's income comes from local TV & sponserships. Of course SA rugby benefits from SANZAR TV income but were SA to withdraw from SANZAR the golden goose of TV income would lose some glitter & OZ and NZ would likely feel the effects too. Rugby is not such a widely played game globally that the withdrawal of any of the major nations from what competitions there are would not have repercussions elsewhere. By the way, the very tenor of your post is the type of thing that annoys many people in SA and gives rise to the type of anti-SANZAR feeling that is afoot today.

  • @Observer - 2010-08-25 08:34

    I would suggest you read up on your facts before posting your drivel again, "buddy". It is not about the strength of the currency, its about the buying power. It comes down that SA contributes about 60-70% of the current SANZAR broadcasting deal, irrespective of the strength of the currency. Oz and NZ does not have the following nor viewership SA has, not even close by a mile. In the end that is what makes the wheels go round - media rights. So please wisen up bofore you even try to post again, or STFU, and go hide in a corner.

  • AB Supporter - 2010-08-25 08:45

    LOL!! Guess what guys, SA looked at leaving SANZR before the TV deal was renewed a year or two ago. No one wanted you!!! The Northern Hemisphere didn't want to expand the 6-nations and there was no room in the Heinekin Cup for SA club teams. Simple fact, you need SANZR! I say get rid of the SA thugs and bullies! NZ & Aus play better rugby anyway. Plus Argentina & the pacific Islands are begging to play with us. Accept the fact that you are the laughing stock of the Rugby world and the only championship you will ever win will be the Whinging World cup, it'll be a close final between you and the english.

  • the prodigy - 2010-08-25 08:47

    I'll believe it when I see it. New Zealand want the WC so bad, they will do anything to make sure SA is marginalised. Stuff them !!!!

  • another kiwi - 2010-08-25 09:08

    You have been trying to break away from SANZAR for a while now and we said yep GO we will find other partners to join us and then you go and find nobody wants SARU and all their political nonsense so we end being stuck with this BS for another five Years. Can't you start up an African Nations comp instead of bullying your way in and out of partnerships when you lose a few.

  • Spartan - 2010-08-25 09:14

    @ OBserver, ROFL are probably a sour Ex pat living in Sheepland, right, earning a pathetic 50 K a year, living in a rented leaking 3 bed house in Auckland, If you actually knew anything, you would know that that Rand is one of the better performing currencies in World, our standard of living is fantastic thanks. Your comments dont surpise us, we have come to expect this kind of derogatory stuff from down under, & you know what, we dont really care what you or your NBF's think, call us stupid, backward, jarpies, whatever blows your hair back...We dont care what you Skarpies think anymore!! You need us more than we need you, & you hate it.

  • @AB Supporter - 2010-08-25 09:38

    Interesting comment from a supporter of a side who have claimed to have been posioned no fewer than four separate occassions because they lost. I think we know where the whinging world cup rests... last year's 3N apparently was a travesty because the winners didn't play the sort of rugby the AB's could play. This year the complaints are similar but by the boks, and now we're the whingers? We learnt from the best. This year's winners of the 3N. This is a SA site. Get off.

  • ranger - 2010-08-25 09:51

    @bladerunner, you are right about our administration & coach, wrong about the players, they are doing the best under the circumstances & very wrong about refs not being biased. You need to stop worrying about what others think of us, & rather than telling us to shut up, which is a bit irritating, do a bit of reading up on the Sanzar history, especailly if you are only 30% right most of the time.

  • @observer - 2010-08-25 10:15

    Is it because of all the money in NZ that they only have primitive stadiums which can hold no more than 30000 people???

  • Gotcha - 2010-08-25 10:27

    We hosted the FIFA world Cup. They didnt. A New Zealander for heaven's sake was all that stood between us hosting in 2006 already.If one of them eventually do host the worlds greatest show piece (which we did already, only 16 years after democracy, had to rub it in again you sheep shagging morons) no one will be interested coz we'll all be asleep. I can count the Aussies on one hand that were truly happy we won our bid, 2 Iof these were expats from SA. Feel it, it was here !!

  • Mike - 2010-08-25 10:36

    The New Zealanders have giving us the rough end of thr stick with citing for years.Lets get the Curry Cup going again as the premier event and bring in Argentina and such like into a new forum.

  • @ AB supporter - 2010-08-25 10:57

    Your comments are as stupid as your stock standard digger. You, on the other hand, are not one,(digger that is) stop trying to sound like or pretend to be either from NZ or Aus, you know you are just a backward village boy with a diploma (from bush college like MalEneMa)

  • Nigel - 2010-08-25 12:37

    Some of these guys have the gall to insult us, our team & our country on our own pages, talk about arrogant.....Im sure that most, if not all of these so called condescending Kiwi\Aus posts are ex Saffers, that still find the need to roam our pages, looking for reasons to justify their move. It is amazing how they think that they are uber educated & superior, & even more amazing how they have adopted their new team & discarded their ex team. One wonders what other bad mouthing they get up to off the forum. You probably find that the one or two genuine Aus\Kiwi posts are probably the relatively mild ones.

  • LABRAT - 2010-08-25 14:12

    Is this Peters fellow another honest Kiwi?? Why dont we appoint Celebi as the new head of SANZAR - I am sure he can be trusted too. Us Africans must be too dumb to read the writing on the wall!!! This is unacceptable and must be headed by an independent party. And all you yellow bellied Saffer turncoats - we are better off without you

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