Saru denies S14 snub

Andy Marinos has denied that South African rugby plans on leaving the Super 14 to join the Magners League in Europe.

The Sanzar broadcast agreement ends in 2010 and The Australian reported that Saru was looking at other options.

Marinos, acting MD of Saru, has firmly denied this.

“There is not a jot of truth in this speculation and we wouldn’t normally even bother responding to such a story,” said Marinos. “But as it has now grown via the internet from speculation from one source in Australasia to a real possibility in websites across Europe we thought rugby supporters would like the record put straight.

“So let me put it quite plainly: we have had no informal or formal discussions with the Magners League – or any European-based leagues for that matter – about deserting our Sanzar partners and playing in a northern hemisphere-based tournament. And nor do we have any plans to hold such discussions,” he said.

Logistically the move would be impossible as the northern and southern hemisphere seasons don’t overlap, while Marinos stressed it would also be a drop in the standard of rugby.

“We remain committed to Sanzar and are taking a full part in discussions looking at the possible expansion of the tournament – a desire we share with our Australian and New Zealand partners. Sanzar’s tournaments are vibrant, hugely popular with our supporters of the very highest rugby quality and remain central to our forward planning.”