Trans-Tasman comp talks to start
NEWS: Wallabies veterans Michael Hooper and Matt Toomua are set to meet with some of New Zealand’s top players next week to explore scenarios for trans-Tasman fixtures to be held later this year.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Hooper, who captained Australia to last year’s World Cup in Japan, and Toomua will be joined by Rugby Union Players Association president Damien Fitzpatrick on a call with their Kiwi counterparts.
In the absence of the suspended Super Rugby, the possibility of combining the two nations’ domestic competitions featuring their Super Rugby franchises is expected to be discussed.
RUPA boss Justin Harrison told the Herald that he has been talking with New Zealand Rugby Players Association chief executive Rob Nichol regarding such a prospect.
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“I’ve been talking with Rob about the potential for a competition between the two countries and their view is very encouraging about wanting to reach out and have senior player interaction,” Harrison told the Herald.
“We are scheduling a call for next week so Hoops, Toomua, Fitzy and other players from our side can talk with senior New Zealand players to start to develop a framework around player desires for involvement.
“We’d all like to present something that has support from the playing groups and feel this is a good way to start that.”
After SANZAAR halted Super Rugby after seven rounds of action in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, both Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby have been working on starting respective domestic competitions in the coming months.
According to the Herald, a start date for a competition featuring all four Australian franchises and the Western Force is expected to get underway in July, while revelations were made on Friday about a potential New Zealand competition featuring up to eight professional teams being played nationwide.
The formation of an Australasian Super Rugby competition could provide a much-needed boost to the coffers of both governing bodies on either side of the ditch.
NZR posted a loss of NZ$7.4m for 2019, while RA announced a A$9.4m loss in that same timeframe last month.
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