Pac Rim nations may be in Super plans - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Pac Rim nations may be in Super plans

02/05/2008 10:52:18 AM Comments (0)

Sanzar officials will explore the possibility of involving the Pacific Islands, Argentina, Japan, the United States and Canada in Super rugby.

They have scheduled meetings around the Super 14 playoffs and Tri-Nations and others in Wellington and Samoa over the next few weeks and hope to have concrete options for expansion of the competitions in the next six months.

The about face from Sanzar, an rugby alliance of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, comes as the threat from northern hemisphere clubs increases.

New Zealand have recently lost some leading players to European clubs who are now attracting younger players and All Blacks with offers that cannot be matched by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).

Sanzar, particularly New Zealand, had been ignoring calls from such countries such as Samoa, Fiji and Argentina to be included in the Super 14.

"We are sort of recognising publicly if you like that Sanzar's got some work to do to ensure that its competitions are the best in the world," NZRU chief executive Steve Tew said.

Tew is attending an International Rugby Board meeting in Dublin where Sanzar officials also met.

"We're identifying the fact that the rugby economy here (northern hemisphere) is posing a real serious threat to what's happening to our countries.

"We've made a very strong commitment to work together on a very tight timeline to come up with some options in future and in that regard we'll be talking face-to-face with the Japanese, the Canadians, the US, the Argentinians and the Pacific Islanders to try to progress throughout the next four to six months.

All Blacks such as Anton Oliver, Carl Hayman, Doug Howlett and Luke McAlister moved north after last year's World Cup and now players such as Daniel Carter and Nick Evans are being lured with offers they almost cannot refuse.

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