Foster wants Aussie teams in Trans-Tasman Super Rugby
New All Black coach Ian Foster believes that the inclusion of Australian Super Rugby teams into a joint competition with New Zealand is imperative.
The two countries held their own version of Super Rugby this year after the already problematic five-nation competition came to a screeching halt due to COVID-19 preventing most forms of international travel .
New Zealand’s perceived view that Australia doesn’t have the player depth to support five teams in a trans-Tasman competition put the Australians noses a bit out of joint and has thrown a spanner in the works with regards to negotiations at present.
However Foster says he has seen enough improvement in the quality of rugby over the course of Super Rugby AU to encourage going ahead with the competition and that the Australian teams have earned their spots.
“The difference between their first couple of rounds to their last couple has been dramatic,” Foster told Stuff Media.
“From an All Blacks coaches’ perspective, we’ve seen a significant rise in standard in their competition.
“That bodes well for a Super competition but also for us as we head into a Bledisloe (Cup) series.”
With the hope that travel restrictions will soon be lifted Australia and New Zealand will face off against each other in four Bledisloe cup fixtures this year. Two of those will be part of the four-nation Rugby Championship tournament that’s hoped to be held during November/December this year in a central New Zealand hub. However with the South African players having to first complete at least 6 rounds of the Currie Cup competition it’s still to be confirmed whether the Boks will be taking part in this years competition.
While Foster agrees that New Zealand’s Super Rugby Aotearoa was a resounding success earning rave reviews from around the world, he believes that there should be playoffs next year and Australian involvement when conditions allow.
“We need variety in the competition,” he said. “We’ve got five really strong franchises here and enough talent to fill that five. But adding a few more from Australia in whatever format and whatever number is a logical step.
“They’ve got to get to the point where they can sort their structure out. We’ve got to sort our structure out. Then we’ve got to come together”
“For once, we’ve got a chance to do it slowly but hopefully do it right.”
Source: Raidió Teilifís Éireann