Aussies punt 'Super 15'

Sport Business News

Australia is reported to have offered an extra franchise for the Super 14 rubgy tournament, leading to the creation of a Super 15 event.

According to Australian news reports, Australian Rugby Union (ARU) chief John O'Neill wants the Southern Hemisphere's flagship competition to expand into a Super 15 format, with Australia adding an extra franchise. Super 14 tournament organisers SANZAR (South Africa, New Zealand and Australian Rugby) have been debating for some time over the proposed expansion of the existing 14–team event. Most recently, teams from the Pacific Islands (such as Tonga, Samoa and Fiji), Asia, North America and Argentina have been considered as possible candidates for an expanded Super tournament, which is planned for 2011. SANZAR's current broadcast deal runs until 2010, and the body is looking at tapping into new markets and new revenue sources in the ever–developing world of commercial sport. It is likely that the new additional franchise will come from Melbourne or the Gold Coast in Australia. Those areas have recently voiced their interest in joining an expanded tournament. These proposals will also see the Super competition change from its current 15–week format to a 26–week format, including a possible a six–week Finals series.

Additional information