ARU boss O'Neill to mend SANZAR fence - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

ARU boss O'Neill to mend SANZAR fence

By David Beniuk 17/08/2010 06:20:34 PM Comments (0)

Australian rugby boss John O'Neill will be looking to "calm things down" when he meets South African officials amidst reports they want out of the SANZAR agreement.

The South African Rugby Union have said they will consider quitting the body, a partnership with Australia and New Zealand, which manages the Super rugby and Tri-Nations tournaments.

O'Neill will head to the Republic soon after the Wallabies, who play Tests against the Springboks in Pretoria on August 28 and Bloemfontein on September 4.

"It's got to be taken with a grain of salt," O'Neill told reporters on Tuesday.

"I'll be over there for 10 days and we'll meet with the SARU officials.

"It's fair to say the relationship at the moment is a bit tense and the reasons for that are well documented.

"I want to try and calm things down.

"The joint venture is a very important one. We've just signed a new five-year broadcasting deal that goes through to 2015 so speculating about the end of the joint venture at the start of a new five-year deal is scarcely what I call rational."

Relations between the SARU and the ARU/NZRU soured again recently over the disciplinary hearing against Springboks coach Peter de Villiers.

Wallabies captain Rocky Elsom is also trying to turn his, and the media's, attention to South Africa amidst the frenzy over five-eighth Quade Cooper's talks with NRL club Parramatta.

The Australian side flies out on Friday to set up base in Cape Town.

"You've got to be able to identify what's important and work on those things and I think, for us, we've got the tour coming up to Africa and we've got a fair bit to work on there so we're just focusing on that," Elsom said.

"We know we've got a big job, we've still got a lot of things to work on, we obviously didn't win the last two matches so that's not ideal.

"I'd say the feeling's good but we're realistic about where we are."

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