Rugby Australia Would Offer New Zealand Larger Share In Trans-Tasman Super Rugby
ugby Australia (RA) chairman, Hamish McLennan, has said RA would offer New Zealand Rugby (NZR) a larger share in a private equity investment in a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition.
This announcement comes after days of back and forth between the two organising bodies who reportedly have differences over how many Australian sides should be included in the competition if it were formed.
According to the Herald, NZR planned to open negotiations for the new competition with just two Australian sides, while RA wants to make it an even five sides for each country structure.
McLennan said New Zealand would be rewarded for its greater depth and strength of its sides if discussions were had about splitting investment money.
“More teams equal more broadcast dollars, which will lead to private equity investment if that’s the way we decide to go,” McLennan said.
“I think even if the Kiwis got slightly more of a return out of that investment, that would be entirely fair and we both need more investment into our respective unions.
“I absolutely acknowledge that we don’t have the Super Rugby depth that New Zealand has at the moment, but why wouldn’t we open our teams up to some top-flight players from South Africa, Argentina, and even the northern hemisphere to help them out,” he said, confirming RA officials are in discussions with the South African and Argentinian organisers to create an ‘open borders’ policy, allowing international talent to join and boost the depth of Australian sides.
“If you look at the strength of the AFL and NRL they’re both entirely local, so if we have to go it alone, we will, but that’s not my preferred option,” McLennan said.
“This runs the risk of turning into a squabble where everyone begins to forget what they were fighting for in the beginning.
“The bigger picture over time is leveraging an ANZAC bloc with the best professional competition in the world.
“We also represent two of the most profitable inbound tours to the norther hemisphere based on our collective history.
“And we’ve collectively won five World Cups and we’ve been in the final another three times.
“So I’m backing Australia to get rugby right over time,” he said.
Former NZR coach, Steve Hansen, said NZR should be firm, insisting they have been looking after their Australian counterparts for years.
“Without being controversial, we have been looking after the Aussies for years,” Hansen told Stuff Media.
“And every time we have required something from them, particularly at a high level, sometimes they have gone missing.
“Do we owe them something?
“No, but because we are the nation we are, and we care about the game more than just ourselves, we bend and buckle a bit.
“I think NZ Rugby are in the mood for having strong discussions… because they only get one shot at it,” he said.
McLennan did not directly address Hansen’s criticism, but insisted the history of the ANZAC proves how the two nations are stronger together.