Pacific Super Rugby bid comes up short
12:34 Thu Dec 06, 2018
Taken from/By: RNZ
Report by: Meli Tavaga
A proposed Pacific-based Super Rugby team is effectively dead in the water after failing to find the required funding.
The Fiji Rugby Union have also pulled their support for the bid, leaving the team without a prospective home base.
Radio New Zealand reports, a feasibility study, commissioned by New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs last year, recommended a Pacific-based side be based in Suva and also play home games in Samoa and Tonga.
But Pacific Rugby Players chief executive Aayden Clarke, who has been involved in the ongoing bid discussions, says the Fiji Rugby Union pulled the plug after the bid was unable to attract the $US12 million – the minimum annual investment demanded by SANZAAR.
“SANZAAR have a fairly high bar in terms of the financial needs of the team to be able to be able to compete and be sustainable in that competition. The decision was made within the Pacific that financially it didn’t stack up.”
Clarke says while there was a lot of interest from corporate and private backers in the Pacific, many were unwilling to guarantee their support until a Super Rugby licence was confirmed.
Reports that Super Rugby’s governing body, SANZAAR, want to shrink the competition from 15 to 14 teams make the prospect of a Pacific franchise even less likely, he added.
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