Secret plan to kill off Super Rugby

Australian and New Zealand rugby authorities are working behind the scenes to divorce themselves from Super Rugby in 2016 – and form their own Australasian competition.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that South Africa’s insistence on an expansion to accommodate the Lions and Kings is at the heart of the displeasure, with the Aussies and Kiwis believing the competition should not extend 15 teams.

South Africa would then play its own competition with Argentina or possibly look to a competition within Europe.

The SMH reported the possibility of a split as one of three secret proposals being discussed among the SANZAR nations of Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, with input from Argentina.

The SMH added the proposal would take effect when the new broadcasting rights deal ticks over in 2016. SANZAR wants to have a decision agreed by the end of this year to give all parties enough time to plan under the new framework if one is agreed.

All parties are believed to be in favour of working out a solution that includes South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina, but SARU’s domestic political environment is proving the sticking point.