Planet Rugby

Pacific island team in Super Rugby?

02nd October 2013 08:43

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Boost: Pacific nations

New Zealand's Super Rugby coaches are reportedly pushing for a team of Pacific island players to be included in the tournament when it expands.

The team, based in Auckland, would be part of an 18-club competition under a proposal from the coaches of New Zealand's five existing Super Rugby teams, the New Zealand Herald reported.

It said 2016's competition would also include a Japanese team and South Africa's Southern Kings and Lions, who currently compete in an end-of-season play-off for a Super Rugby berth.

The Herald said Argentina would not have a team in the proposed competition but clubs would be allowed to sign Argentine players.

The proposal would be a major boost for Pacific nations such as Samoa, Fiji and Tonga, which struggle to retain players because of poor infrastructure and lack of meaningful competition.

Basing the team in Auckland would provide a ready-made player pool and fan base, due to the city's large Pacific population, the report said.

The SANZAR countries - South Africa, New Zealand and Australia - are looking to expand the Super Rugby tournament when the current broadcast deal expires at the end of 2015.

The move is being driven by South Africa's insistence that it field six teams, rather than the current five entered by all three countries.

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PosTeamPPts
1Waratahs1658
2Crusaders1651
3Sharks1650
4Brumbies1645
5Chiefs1644
6Highlanders1642
7Hurricanes1641
8Western Force1640
9Bulls1638
10Blues1637
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13Reds1628
14Cheetahs1624
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Australian Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Waratahs1658
2Brumbies1645
3Western Force1640
4Reds1628
5Melbourne Rebels1621
New Zealand Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Crusaders1651
2Chiefs1644
3Highlanders1642
4Hurricanes1641
5Blues1637
South African Conference
Super Rugby Table
PosTeamPPts
1Sharks1650
2Bulls1638
3Stormers1632
4Lions1631
5Cheetahs1624