Australia, N. Zealand agree to keep Super Rugby Pacific until 2030

Sydney, Australia, Dec 2 (EFE).- Australian and New Zealand rugby federations announced an agreement Friday to ensure the Super Rugby Pacific tournament, the most important club championship in the southern hemisphere, will be held until 2030.

The franchise, which until 2020 had clubs from South Africa, Argentina and Japan, was at risk due to the threat of withdrawal of the five Australian teams, which compose it together with five New Zealand teams, one Fijian and another of players from various Pacific Island nations.

After months of negotiations, the governing bodies reached an agreement to renew the tournament, with an equitable distribution of income from television rights and the creation of a board of directors with a majority of independent members.

“This long-term partnership provides the stability and continuity that Super Rugby competition and clubs need to grow the sport in importance across the region,” Rugby Australia chief executive Andy Marinos said in a joint statement with his New Zealand counterpart.

“With this agreement we have entered an exciting new era for rugby in the Pacific region,” Rugby New Zealand’s Mark Robinson said.

The Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the Super Rugby tournament in 2020, which included four South African teams, one from Argentina and one from Japan.

In 2021, the tournament was replaced by a championship made up of only 10 teams from Australia and New Zealand, while this year – when the Pacific name was added to the championship – the Fijian team and a Pacific Islander team were added.

The Australian and New Zealand federations said in their joint statement that they would study a possible increase in the number of teams in the future. EFE


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