“All bets are off”: Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan warns New Zealand that Australian teams may be moving away from Super Rugby for good … and suggests they may host national competitions such as AFL and NRL
- Rugby Australia may depart from Super Rugby after 2023
- Hamish McLennan suggested that the RA is considering creating a national tournament
- This season, three Australian teams have made their way to the Super Rugby Final
- Brumbies came close to winning the semi-finals in New Zealand
- New Zealand rugby only wanted two Australian teams in Super Rugby last year
Super Rugby as it stands may soon be a thing of the past as Rugby Australia (RA) is reportedly considering leaving the competition once and for all to host a national tournament.
According to Fox Sports, RA president Hamish McLennan informed his New Zealand rugby counterpart (NZR) Stewart Mitchell that the authority is not ready to commit to any deal beyond the current one that expires at the end of next year.
In an ominous warning to NZR, McLennan insisted that “all bets be banned” from 2024 when it comes to the RA’s deal with its Kiwi partner.
The Reds and Waratahs may reportedly leave Super Rugby late next year
“We’ll keep our commitments in 2023, but we need to see what’s best for Australia’s rugby, leading to the Australia Rugby World Cup in 2027.” McLennan told Fox Sports.
“All bets are off by 2024 in New Zealand.”
It continues the thorny relationship between Australia and New Zealand’s governing bodies, which worsened even further in 2020 when NZR told RA that they only wanted two Australian teams to participate in their planned next Super Rugby iteration.
McLennan’s recent comments surprised RA chief Andy Marinos as well as Kiwi.
Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan said “all bets are void” on Australian teams’ commitment to Super Rugby in 2023
According to the AAP, the source said McLennan’s motivation was to obtain a better financial deal for Australia with New Zealand by refusing to renegotiate the transmission split between countries.
Previously, all issue money was shared equally between all three of SANZAR’s first partners, including South Africa and later Argentina.
NZR currently collects over $ 90 million, three times the annual RA check.
The source said that discussions about equal revenue sharing “fell over deaf ears,” hence the McLennan pose.
Australia will host the Rugby World Cup in 2027 and the Women’s Rugby World Cup in 2029
Wallabies legend and commentator Tim Horan believed Australia needed New Zealand and warned against leaving.
“I think we have to be very careful with that,” said Horan Stan Sport.
– Hamish just threw a grenade, but we need the All Blacks. They need us as much as we need them.
“How are you going to play against the five Australian Super Rugby teams? You’d be sick of playing with yourself.
This year, three Australian teams, including five teams from New Zealand, made their way to the Super Rugby Final
McLennan’s bombing claims have once again raised questions about the future of Super Rugby that lasted through several turbulent years.
The competition expanded from 15 teams to 18 teams in 2016 before reverting to 15 teams two years later due to financial difficulties.
The already unstable scenario was additionally aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, which caused Argentina and South Africa to withdraw from competition.
In 2021, the trans-Tasman tournament resumed with five teams from New Zealand and Australia, and a team from Fiji and one team from Tonga, Samoa and other Pacific islands also entered the fray.
The Brumbies were close to causing a mind-blowing nervousness, but last week they lost the 20-19 semi-final to The Blues in Auckland (above)
A year after NZR demanded that only two Australian teams be admitted to the tournament, three Australian teams made it to the final, with the Brumbies losing a point to The Blues in last week’s semi-finals.
The competitive nature of the tournament convinced NZR that Super Rugby could be successful in its current form and led to discussions with RA about a new deal going beyond 2023.
McLennan, however, insisted that the RA did not want to get involved prematurely and suggested that the authority was investigating the possibility of holding a national competition along the lines of the NRL and AFL.
‘Some [RA] Board members have strong opinions that only domestic competitions such as AFL and NRL would make more money for the game, and that is a fair comment, he added.