Australia pitches 'Super 8' rugby series

File: A security guard and an official wear face masks in front of a lone spectator sitting in a stand before the start of the the Super Rugby match between the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on August 8, 2020.

File: A security guard and an official wear face masks in front of a lone spectator sitting in a stand before the start of the the Super Rugby match between the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on August 8, 2020.

DAVID GRAY / AFP

SYDNEY - Rugby Australia proposed a Super 8 series with teams from New Zealand, South Africa, Japan and Argentina to be played at the conclusion of either a domestic or trans-Tasman tournament.

The plan was unveiled as part of its drive to secure a lucrative new broadcast deal, with the current one running out at the end of the year.

Its vision includes options for either a domestic Super Rugby competition, as is being played currently due to the coronavirus pandemic, or a trans-Tasman one from 2021.

READ: Rugby Sevens series opening events cancelled

Rugby Australia's pitch includes a four-week Super 8 tournament featuring the top two teams from Australian, New Zealand and South African Super Rugby, and the leading one from Japan's Top League and South America's domestic tournament.

"We will do whatever is in the best interests of Australian rugby and we've been working hard on a variety of competition models, not just for Super Rugby but for every level of the game," said interim Rugby Australia chief Rob Clarke.

He added that discussions had taken place with the other countries, but gave no indication about how the plan was received.

READ: NZ want SA, Argentina out of Super Rugby

"We're in no means cutting off our SANZAAR partners and we'll be looking to do things jointly with them beyond the Rugby Championship wherever possible," he said.

"That said, we do need to have a competition that has integrity to it and has an ability to grow our game here in Australia and grow our fan base and some of the options we're looking at we believe will do just that."

Source
AFP