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Fri 10 Jul 2020 | 10:23

Rugby Australia blasts NZ over 'master-servant' relationship

Rugby Australia blasts NZ over 'master-servant' relationship
Fri 10 Jul 2020 | 10:23
Rugby Australia blasts NZ over 'master-servant' relationship

REACTION: Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has hit back at New Zealand Rugby after reports emerged that the Kiwis want to limit the number of Australian teams in a possible Trans-Tasman Super Rugby tournament in 2021.

A report emerged suggesting that NZ Rugby doubts Australia can field more than two strong teams – meaning a Trans-Tasman competition would have to be dominated, numbers-wise, by Kiwi sides.

READ: Trans-Tasman marriage on the rocks already

It is believed that the NZ Rugby board favoured an eight-team competition during a review – featuring the five existing Kiwi sides, a Pacific Islands team and just two Australian franchises.

“I love New Zealand and its people and we have strong cultural ties and a rich rugby heritage, but it feels a bit master-servant at the moment,” McLennan told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“If we’re building up to the [2023] World Cup and rebuilding Australian rugby we need the maximum amount of teams in the competition, including our friends at the Force.”

Details of NZ Rugby’s ‘Aratipu’ review were leaked via Newshub this week and suggested SANZAAR would be pretty much disbanded, leaving it to run the Southern Hemisphere Test programme only.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Super Rugby was suspended in March this year and the future of the competition is currently up in the air with New Zealand and Australia set to break away from South Africa and Argentina in terms of franchise rugby.

New Zealand and Australia have already formed their own competitions in the form of Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU.

“From what I’ve heard, the Super Rugby clubs on both sides of the Tasman have been speaking and I hear they want a full-blown trans-Tasman competition as well,” McLennan added.

“What we have is a much larger population of 25 million and a bigger economy and it would be very sad if New Zealand didn’t tap into that.”

Source: Sydney Morning Herald & Newshub

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