SANZAR marriage on the rocks

2010-08-16 08:09

Sydney - The South African Rugby Union are looking at breaking up the SANZAR alliance because their relationship with Australia and New Zealand is so damaged.

The Sunday Times newspaper in Johannesburg on Sunday reported that SARU have already got the ball rolling on what they'll do when the current SANZAR deal runs out in 2015 and are considering ending Super Rugby and the Four Nations.

At an executive council meeting in South Africa last week the first nail in the coffin of SANZAR was hammered, with the decision made to look at splitting away from the NZRU and ARU.

Chairperson of the SARU board Dr Jan Marais confirmed to the Sunday Times that they want to look elsewhere.

"The council gave the instruction that we should look at other possibilities beyond 2015," Marais said.

"We can't do anything about the current agreement because we are locked in until that contract expires.

"However, there is a strong feeling that we should look at possibilities we can explore at the conclusion of the current broadcasting deal."

Relations between SARU and SANZAR partners New Zealand and Australia have been strained for a few years and the relationship was nearly terminated last year when the three countries were trying to negotiate a broadcasting deal to kick in when the current one ends this year.

But since the new deal was signed there has been no improvement in relations, with this season probably being the worst since SANZAR was formed in 1996.

This year the Springboks management have complained throughout the Tri Nations about the way referees were officiating them and the All Blacks.

There was also unrest when SANZAR pushed ahead with a misconduct hearing against Springboks coach Peter de Villiers, who said referees wanted the All Blacks to get winning results to help make next year's World Cup a success.

When SANZAR ordered a the hearing it sent SARU president Oregan Hoskins into such a rage that he called it a "declaration of war".

In yesterday's report Hoskins did appear to be in a more restrained mood, but admitted relations had been "tense".

"Tri Nations rugby is a robust game and we have robust conversations in the boardroom and occasionally knock each other down and have to pick each other up, dust ourselves off and get on with it," Hoskins said.

"But it has been like that since day one.

"The bottom line is that this is the toughest rugby competition in the world and we're fully part of it with our neighbours.

"In that spirit, we'll be having discussions with New Zealand and Australia when they're here and after that we'll get on with ensuring we continue to produce the best rugby competition in the world." had asked to have an interview with Hoskins this week to allow him the opportunity to explain SARU's concerns, but this request was turned down.

Rugby Heaven

  • Rilman - 2010-08-16 08:19

    And play who? No Super Rugby ... no sponsors ... no money. Wake up SARU and focus on a new coach, captain and game plan. Maybe a complete new SARU exec. council

  • Michael - 2010-08-16 08:20

    Why bother. After the next RWC, elections of SARU none of you will be there anyway - hopefully.

  • Steve - 2010-08-16 08:21

    This seems coincidental, at the time soon after DIV has "shot" his stupid mouth off. Now we want to "pull out" of SANZAR. Rather get to the root of the problem, and eradicate it

  • Viv - 2010-08-16 08:22

    This is bloody pathetic. SARU are stomping their feet like little children and the rest of SA have to suffer. What a massive loss it will be to no longer have Super Rugby season or Tri/Four Nations rugby. Get your head out your a$ses SARU and just cowboy up. Dont punish the players or the public because you feel 'a declaration of war'. Pathetic Hoskinsis cocking it up for everyone else. Makes me sick

  • rugby king - 2010-08-16 08:28

    all part of government distancing itself from the white south africans so called alliance partners...this is BS... what about what the rugby public want? super 14 and tri nations is the best rubgy ever we the rugby public want to continue watching it...but this is the beginning of government ending rugby in this country, soon they will begin a tri-nations against zimbabwe and namibia and then they know whites will stop watching rubgy then, this is exactly what the anc wants.

  • peebo - 2010-08-16 08:31

    and then.....?? Start a seperate competition with Argentina, Fiji and Samoa - we should do well in such an event even with majority Bulls representation and the usual quota blimps.

  • Spike - 2010-08-16 08:31

    Who are they gonna join up with then ... the 7 Nations?? I thought Hoskins at least had some kop, but it seems he's just as dof as Divvy.

  • NEILLE - 2010-08-16 08:32


  • DC - 2010-08-16 08:36

    They need us, we do not need them. Our attendance figures have on average been much larger than theres & we have enough rugby in this country with Vodacom Cup & Currie Cup. NZ & Aus can play each other for another 200 years just like how Aus & Eng love playing long boring series of cricket every year

  • Jimmy - 2010-08-16 08:36

    What a misleading headline! Hoskins says "we'll get on with ensuring we continue to produce the best rugby competition in the world". Where elser arer SA going to look? Zimbabwe and Namibia? I can't see us giving up on SANZAR.

  • Carl - 2010-08-16 08:36

    Agreed. Let's get out of this circus, it's a joke.

  • shaun753 - 2010-08-16 08:41

    This will be the down fall of SA rugby. The only reason we can win world cups is because we compete with the best all year round in Super 14/15 and Tri nations. SARU should appoint a new board who are interested in winning games and not filling there pockets!!!

  • henk - 2010-08-16 08:43

    SARU, you cant even maintain a proper relationship with your own provinces and players. Look at the state of your smaller unions such as Pumas, SWD, etc. Look at the PRO manner you are dealing with Frans Steyn. You are a bunch of hypocrates and you are talking to much. No wonder SARugby is in the current state of chaos.

  • Shawn - 2010-08-16 08:44

    I think its a great deal, get rid of Mr Eals in the ARU and we will all be better off. thanks

  • Matt - 2010-08-16 08:44

    Well the Sunday Time also said the Stormers played against the bulls this weekend....

  • John - 2010-08-16 08:46

    This sounds the best move I have yet hered. Let the comonwealth play and cheat eachother. We will have no problems finding other honest teams to play against. It highlights the character of these nations as in crieket India threatened to break away for similar reasons, hopefully this could still happen and the cheats can play eachother in all sports.

  • Blame - 2010-08-16 08:46


  • Paul - 2010-08-16 08:48

    It would be a good thing. Rather start a new competition with the Northern Hemisphere. Better timezone, no more 9:30 rugby games. Cut the dead wood. ARU and NZ are small fry compared to us. Without S.A. their rugby would die, which will help us in the future.

  • Herman - 2010-08-16 08:48

    SARU management is clearly the troublespme side of the alliance. As a South African (whatever that is) I am ashamed of the blatant unprofessional manner in which the coach handles himself during interviews, and the fact that the rest of SARU defends de Villiers's disgusting behaviour is simply not professional. If I were New Zealand, and Australia, I would welcome South Africa backing out. It is not going to be beneficial to SA Rugby though, but we are used to poor management destroying many a good talent because of politics. I think it is time for good SA talent to move to greener pastures under competent management where politics don't undermine sane thinking.

  • Chris - 2010-08-16 08:49

    Go for it SARU. Get our top provincial teams into the Heineken Cup. Go back to proper test rugby (tours) and we will play the top teams every two years, and then we will see how long Australian and NZ rugby lasts.

  • Rob - 2010-08-16 08:49

    Go play with Argentina!

  • GVA - 2010-08-16 08:53

    As far as I know Refs have nothing to do with SANZA, they are run by the IRB ?

  • Justin - 2010-08-16 08:54

    i say keep the super rugby competition but it needs to be adapted or kept as is, this super 15 rubish needs to go, it will eat into the currie cup, as far as the tri-nations go, please get rid of it, im soo tired of watching the same three teams bash each other around, bring back the tours!!! imagine watching the bulls/wp/sharks play the all black 2nd XV during the mid week then watching the springboks play them on the saturday, same goes for aus, tri-nations is done and needs to go!

  • really? - 2010-08-16 08:54

    pleez SARU, pathertic effort at seeking sympathy - 5 years later and pockets full of money & you will sing a total different tune. This is a lame effort to draw attention away from Bok's poor tri-nation perforrmance and P Divvy's weak profile

  • Paul7 - 2010-08-16 08:55

    Hoskins stop protecting DiV, he has been warned countless times to stop with his media comments but yet he rattles on. Yes, SA rugby have always been harshly treated by audacious referee decisions and citing disciplinary results but there are other ways to rectify this and this just shows that Hoskins and co. have no backbone, but rather use these blackmail type of tactics to get a response from there counterparts! Pathetic

  • Barry - 2010-08-16 08:57

    Oh PLEAE!!!! Lets grow up. What basolute twaddle

  • Raj - 2010-08-16 09:01

    Rugby-King you are a moron...through and through. I think the Div commnets are symptomatic of the tense relations not a cause of it......ckeck the facts out first before you hang your countrymen out to dry...Aus and NZ have treated SA like the poorer second cousins since day one...yet we are the most successful team in the triumverate post "94....we should be calling the shots not them....

  • @peebo - 2010-08-16 09:01

    Peebo, you total idiot, your provincial vomit is as constructive as what SARU is trying to do. No wonder we are divided, its idiots like you! Why are you supporting rugby, because are definitely not a team player, please go back to you slimy dark hole, Gollum might have a snack for you. Regarding the SARU, well like some bloggers picked up, we would rather hide our inequities, shortcomings and plain incompetence than to admit to SANZAR that we have a clown as coach!

  • Paul - 2010-08-16 09:02

    Please cant we go back to an annual long tour. 30+ players touring a region ie OZ/NZ for 4 weeks playing every Tues and Sat. This will allow our players to get to know each other and will develope emerging players. Sponsors will love it.

  • Zolani - 2010-08-16 09:05

    I love all sport, and don’t think this is a bad thing, In the past we would have a touring test , NZ would come here for a 5 match test series, with midweek games etc( Like when the B&I lions came here, We would also go away to England and have a test there. At the moment international Rugby is Boring, we play the tri nations, and then a late tour to Europe, If we play England or france once a year we are lucky, I say lets mix things up a bit .I would rather have Touring tests like before, I do love the super 14 Though, but would be cool to have a champions league with the top 2 teams from each country Competing

  • Sean - 2010-08-16 09:06

    The call of the pound/euro is too great. 6 nation and SA. This completion will weaken rugby but strengthen finances. Question which one does SARU want. My guess SARU will take the 30 pieces of silver.

  • G Funk - 2010-08-16 09:07

    The problem is not PdV. If you guys take your racist blinkers off you'll actually see that this SANZAR alliance has very little to no benefit to us. Keep in mind and that the Aussies and Kiwi's are not shy to admitt hat they are in alliance, an alliance against South Africa. Look at the fixtures this year so far. We haven't plaed a home game yet and we already out of the competition. NZ have played (in sequence) 2 home games, (1 away against their neighbours Ausies), and then another home game. Now the All Blacks are coming here for 1 game - 1 week. Show me another competition that is structured like this, anywhere in the world! The same applies to Super Rugby. Then we still have biased refs. We are constantly trying to beat the odds. What is the benefit to us as South Africa? We are going to extra-ordinary lenghts to keep this SANZAR relationship alive. We are putting way too much emphasis on the Tri-Nations and Super Rugby. We need to change our mindset completely. We should both these competitions to blood new talent, and concentrate on the currie cup and tours to the Nothern hemisphere. We are just so consumed with beating the Aussies and Kiwi's against all odds, that we are willing to sell our souls in order to appease them. If we stop basing our decisions on money, like stated below by Rilman, and putting our own Rugby interests first, we'll be making all the right decisions. Start thinking for yourselves guys!

  • greg - 2010-08-16 09:11

    @RugbyKing Please make me understand where the government comes into this? Is this not the very same forum that has been calling for withdrawal from SANZAR because of refereeing bias. You made your bed now you sleep in it - and it happens to be wet.

  • Fair Play - 2010-08-16 09:11

    About time. The Tri Nations has become a bit stale over the last few years. Great rugby - but really limited with only 3 competing teams (soon to be 4). Really look forward to being involved in the European scene - a lot more teams and a lot more money. Then when we play Oz and the AB's it will be something special, instead of the same thing thrice a year! Even more exciting is the possibility of a good old fashioned tour down under.

  • Emile - 2010-08-16 09:11

    Best news from SARU in year's. The alliance has really reached the end of the line and there is no way we need to accept the superiority attitude of AUS and NZ. Over the years the format of the Tri-Nations severely benefitted AUS & NZ with regards to travelling arrangements. Since that was sorted out a couple of years, suddenly the Boks also became title contenders. For years those NZ/Aus administrators treated us as a third wheel and their conduct this season was nothing short of a disgrace. The way NZ/AUS is constantly trying to change the game and its rules to suite the taste of their weird spectators in an attempt to compete with Aussie Rules clearly show we shouldn't be part of this farce. The way the Refs handled games thus far in the Tri-Nations leaves very little to the imagination and the Boks have been targeted from game 1. Things got so bad that a respected ex-Aussie coach (Bob Dwyer) even commented on the one-sided refereeing against the Boks. Forget about the yellow cards and childish suspensions, the way McCaw and Pocock were clearly protected by the Refs send out a very clear and damaging message. There is just no way any person can justify or deny the poor way games have been officiated thus far (except the NZ/Aussies). Yes, the Bok team was poor, but the refereeing pathetic and very disturbing actually. It is time for SA to move on and rather look at options in Europe and maybe also involving Argentina. Leave Aus/NZ to play with Japan, Samoa, Tonga and the likes. No rugby nation deserves to be treated like SARU has been treated over the years. I hope SARU will put their money where their mouth is this time round and send their Tri-Nations partners to hell.

  • Rod - 2010-08-16 09:13

    Who gives a damn anymore. They have systematically wrecked SA rugby with the pathetic quota system and the racist coach appointment.Its what they do is it not. Look for example at health education justice and defence.All f@#$%d. Sport had to follow.

  • Aussie Mike - 2010-08-16 09:13

    Typical South African mentality. You lose and then want to blame everyone else but yourselves. Rather sort out your own problems first before fighting with SANZAR. Remove that clown you call a coach, get rid of your ridiculous ethnic quotas and play the game. When your house is in order, you can start dealing with "other" issues.

  • Stephan - 2010-08-16 09:16

    Great!!!! Now let's get cracking on negotiating joining the Heineken Cup and the 6 Nations. Very little timeline difference, less moaner and groaners and far less money for "SANZAR". We don't need them, they need us more for all that money. They should go tend to their sheep and dwindle into obscurity. I still maintain - fire victor and john and you will see a new bok squad emerge...

  • Rugby genius - 2010-08-16 09:17

    When will SARU actually start realising that the world owes them nothing. Get on with the game and stop complaining about everything. Maybe the Tri Nations has become too fast-paced for SA and that is why they would maybe prefer to play against UK teams.

  • Ben - 2010-08-16 09:19

    Short-sighted rantings of a bunch of buffoons! What else do you have in mind, you bunch of bozos? Is ther maybe some idiot remaining there in the cupboard after the apartheid government who thinks we do not need the rest of the world?

  • StormersSupporter - 2010-08-16 09:19

    What a joke. Why should PDV get to say what he wants without any consequence? But of cry babies. Yes, try and get better refs, but do not blame them for us playing so poorly. If this happens, it will be the end of SA Rugby.

  • Alan - 2010-08-16 09:20

    Another pathetic attempt by the people in power to cover their own tracks and not sort out the issue - You guys were put their to look after the interests of SA rugby, not to protecting individuals within the organisation! Earn your salary and stop the shinanigans - Tri-Nations is probably the best competition around and you want to end it because they got upset over what Snor said? Get real! Snor is a motor mouth who probably needs someone between him and the press - it is not them that are at fault, you guys with your pathetic chips on your shoulders are!

  • Richard - 2010-08-16 09:21

    Oz and NZ will have to make a plan because without SA, SANZAR will go bankrupt very quickly and even more players will head North. I reckon at least half of SANZAR's revenue comes from games held in SA due to the enormous support and sold out stadiums. If SA partner with the 6 Nations (drop Italy) and join in the Northern league or form a new super comp with the top 3 teams from each Northern League (France, Wales, Ireland and France), not only will there be more money but there will be no more time zone problems and big travel disadvantages that is currently happening. Let OZ and NZ get Samoa involved and watch their standards go backwards. They need us and SANZAR know it!

  • Reds - 2010-08-16 09:24

    The South African players will always find a home in Aus and NZ so we'll still be able to watch them play......via the internet probably. Cheers SARU

  • Concerned - 2010-08-16 09:25

    Why is it that every time SARU get involved in something,it always leaves such a bad taste in everyone's mouth. They probably all get a fat commission on broadcasting rights anyway. As for Oregan,well remember the John Robbie interview with Hoskins - I rest my case

  • TonyT - 2010-08-16 09:25

    Yes, go for it! Objective reasons to leave the tri-nations: long-in-the-tooth; unfair travel logistics (we play 3 games away across the Indian Ocean while they play 1 or 2. And no, travelling from Aus to NZ is not the same thing); We bring the most income; Rugby is dying in Aus (down to 13% support now, and dropping); Rugby now has 2 forms of rules due to the entrenched N/S split; we can tour other countries again and vice versa; we can tour NZ/Aus again

  • Gee - 2010-08-16 09:27

    I agree that SARU must pull out of ZANZAR. (The Super 14 and the Tri Nations). In my opinion, these two competitions have had a detrimental affect on our internal rugby competitions and especially our Currie Cup. Not to long ago, the Currie Cup was recognised as the best league competition in the world. Now we the paying public have to watch our 'B' sides play this competition until our top players come back into the sides at the end of the competition and upset the direction the competition was going. The only countries who benefit from Super 14 and Tri Nations is New Zealand and Australia. There is not much depth in the number of teams in the New Zealand and Australian rugby so they get all the practise they need to play internationally from playing our teams (Super 14). We have from day one complained about the refereeing of these games and it is corrected for awhile and then goes back to the same bias refereeing. I think that SARU should look at improving our Currie Cup and adding more clubs. We have the talent and more than enough players to increase the size of the Currie Cup. There are some fantastic stadia around the country which are available and SARU should spend some time getting sponsorships to help form more clubs to make the Currie Cup the best in the world. Not take good coaches out of the Currie Cup like WP Nienaber just to loose to New Zealand through bias refereeing.

  • Anti-SARU - 2010-08-16 09:32

    Aaaah HAHAHA! Yep, typical SA mentality. EVERYTHING will be done to prove that Hoskins, Div, & all the other BEE SARU clowns haven't stuffed up that badly. NZ & Oz are killing us match after match so what does SARU do? Throw their toys out the cot & refuse to play anymore. Instead of facing the embarrassment of a clear manifestation of their incompetency, or, heaven forbid, step down from his royal throne, Hoskins has decided to adopt bullying tactics as the smallest kid on the playground. Also, playing against Kenya, Namibia, Zimbabwe & the Botswana Rugby Union in a 5-Nations may create the illusion that SARU continues to make the right decisions as we intially win games against them. But who's going to care? The world will see our dramatic fall from grace as World Champions to the plebs who couldn't beat a primary school girls team. Oregan, vat jou pie en waai!!!!

  • Peet G4 - 2010-08-16 09:33

    Dit is hoog tyd dat ons daai arrogante australasiërs in hulle moere in stuur. Al die jare nog behandel hulle ons soos tweedehandse burgers terwyl ons hulle geldkoffers volmaak. Ek is behoorlik gatvol vir hulle dubbele standaarde wanneer dit by ons rugbyspelers kom. Laat hulle hulle eie donnerse potjie krap. Laat hulle in 'n reeks met Japan, Samoa, Fidji of wie ook al gaan speel en kyk of hulle die skares kan trek!

  • Bliss - 2010-08-16 09:33

    Rugby king, I agree. just so sad though because there is so many black rugby supporters in SA. more and more blacks enjoy the game. How can you not have Super 14 or Tri/four nations ????? Seriously its part of SA. Imagine all the money that will be lost - during super 14 the country makes good money.. No man this is bloody stupid. I see it coming - PDV. the man who took rugby away from South Africans