Sunwolves wanted a 'Super freebie'
The Japan Rugby Football Union’s stance, rather than South African opposition or ‘harsh’ conditions, made it ‘easy’ for SANZAAR to cull the Sunwolves.
After a weekend in which acrimonious barbs were hurled at SANZAAR and the South African Rugby Union, it is worth listening closely to the explanation of SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos for the REAL reasons why the Japanese franchise received the Super axe.
As Marinos explained to @King365ed, there was a ‘significant amount of consultation with the JRFU and Japan Super Rugby Association’ to make them aware of the requirements for the Sunwolves’ continued participation.
“They have to be in a position to start paying their own way,” Marinos said.
It was also revealed that in the past, the other SANZAAR partners – South Africa, Australia and New Zealand – through the generosity of their broadcast rights, carried the running costs and operation of the competition.
The investment they put into the Sunwolves over five years was a material consideration in the decision to cull them.
Marinos revealed that SANZAAR could no longer afford to supplement the Sunwolves.
The JRFU basically expected the SANZAAR partners to continue footing the Sunwolves’ bill and those partners were not willing to continue giving the Japanese franchise a freebie.
“I have a letter in my possession and so has the board where they clearly articulated they are no longer willing to financially underwrite the Sunwolves in Super Rugby,” Marinos said.
* For more on this development, listen to Marinos’ input in the podcast!