Super Rugby still under construction says Marinos
REACTION: Rugby Australia is close to finalising the Super Rugby competition format for the next two years with New Zealand amid a “challenging” environment.
The two parties are set to sign off on format similar to the one used before COVID-19, with the addition of the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika teams.
The 12 sides are set to face each other once before playing three additional round-robin matches.
After a 14-game regular season, the top eight will progress to knockout quarter-finals, with first playing eighth and the winner advancing.
RA boss Andy Marinos said they were still working through the finer details but would move away from the current domestic competitions, followed by a cross-over league.
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“We hope to be able to confirm that, from our side in the next couple of days,” Marinos said on Tuesday.
“It’s fair to say it’s been a very long and protracted process as we both came to the table with very different competition models and philosophies.
“But we’ve got a model for the next two years and we will continue to be open-minded and look at different alternatives if we believe it will deliver a different and better outcome going forward.”
He said the advantages were that teams were guaranteed seven home and seven away matches, more content for broadcasters and it avoided an Australian team having a bye each weekend as per Super Rugby AU.
Australia should also benefit from the high-performance element of having regular matches against the stronger New Zealand outfits.
Marinos said recent discussions to finalise next month’s Rugby Championship had taken precedence over Super Rugby.
Those talks turned ugly last week when NZR refused to send the All Blacks to Perth for third Bledisloe Cup Test without the remainder of the Rugby Championship schedule being finalised, leaving the Wallabies hanging.
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Marinos described the relationship between the countries as “competitive”.
“It’s one of those unique constructs where you’re the fiercest of rivals on the field, and you’re wanting to get the best possible advantage over each other at any given point,” he said.
“I’m not going to deny the fact that’s been challenging but I think COVID has presented everyone with very unique challenges, and it’s how we react and we deal with those challenges that becomes a defining point going forward.
“We certainly are now wanting to move forward and will continue to behave in a professional manner, in terms of our engagements with New Zealand.”