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Sport South Africa pull-out dooms Super Rugby after 25 years

13:10  30 september  2020
13:10  30 september  2020 Source:   msn.com

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The South African Rugby Union has confirmed its voted to explore moving the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks, and Lions into an expanded PRO16 South Africa have provided three Super Rugby champions since the first Super 12 tournament in 1996 which involved four teams from South Africa .

The 2020 Super Rugby season was the 25 th season of Super Rugby , an international men's rugby union competition organised by SANZAAR involving teams from Argentina, Australia, Japan

New Zealand's rugby chief admitted the future of the club game in the southern hemisphere was unclear on Wednesday after South Africa pulled most of their teams out of Super Rugby, effectively ending the once-admired competition after 25 years.

a rugby player with a football ball on a field: New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have organised domestic Super Rugby tournaments this year © MICHAEL BRADLEY New Zealand, Australia and South Africa have organised domestic Super Rugby tournaments this year

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said the next step must be taken quickly after South Africa -- whose national team won the World Cup last year -- opted to explore joining Europe's PRO14.

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Australia and New Zealand are considering replacing the much-maligned Super Rugby series with a trans-Tasman competition without South Africa supplemented Having dwarfism did force me to stop playing sport after varsity; however, I continued to share my passion through my YouTube Channel.

a man holding a football ball: New Zealand is planning a domestic or trans-Tasman version of Super Rugby next year © Marty MELVILLE New Zealand is planning a domestic or trans-Tasman version of Super Rugby next year

South Africa's move, prompted by New Zealand's decision to push for a domestic or trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition, spells doom for the series which was first weakened by over-expansion and then plunged into crisis by the coronavirus pandemic.

a group of people in front of a crowd posing for the camera: The ACT Brumbies won Australia's Super Rugby AU © David Gray The ACT Brumbies won Australia's Super Rugby AU

However, Robinson said it was impossible to predict what the future may hold for Super Rugby teams after the departure of South Africa's Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers.

"There's far too much uncertainty at present around what the future might look like in different horizons. They're changing on a daily and weekly basis," Robinson said.

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South Africa national rugby union team players hold several international records. Several players from the South Africa national rugby union team have joined the IRB and International Hall of Fame. South Africa 's most capped player is Victor Matfield with 127 caps.

South Africa ’s Super Rugby teams have also been hit by a talent-drain with players heading to Europe and Japan but the Springboks scrapped the cap-limit for foreign-based players earlier this year , meaning South Africans playing anywhere in the world are eligible for Bok selection.

"There's going to be a change... and it's something that we've simply got to work out quickly," he added.

The All Blacks and Springboks are international rugby's most successful teams, with three World Cup titles each, and the loss of South African competition deprives Super Rugby of much of its quality.

NZR earlier attempted to play down the pull-out, saying it was "no surprise". It follows months of turmoil since the pandemic halted Super Rugby in March, prompting New Zealand, Australia and South Africa to go it alone with temporary domestic tournaments.

- Quarantine row -

On Tuesday, South Africa said it was seeking entry for four teams into Europe's PRO14, criticising New Zealand's "unilateral decision" to pursue a domestic or trans-Tasman version of Super Rugby.

Their withdrawal confirms that South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby (SANZAAR) will be unable to deliver the 14-team Super Rugby competition already promised to broadcasters in a five-year deal.

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Doping in South African schoolboy rugby is casting a shadow over the whole sport. Then 16 years old and a promising number eight, he wanted to fill out his frame fast. But instead of steak, sausages or some other protein hit from over the counter, a small container, wrapped in tape to hide the contents

South Africa will likely increase their involvement in the competition from two teams – the Cheetahs and Kings – which could expedite their long talked-about exit from Super That move should prompt New Zealand Rugby to press fast forward on Aratipu, the review into the future of Super Rugby .

Globe-straddling Super Rugby, long attacked as unwieldy despite its attractive, free-flowing rugby, had planned to cut down to 14 teams from 15 next year, by kicking out Japan's Sunwolves. But the pandemic has now proved the catalyst for its disintegration.

a large crowd of people: Spectators were able to attend most of New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa domestic series © MICHAEL BRADLEY Spectators were able to attend most of New Zealand's Super Rugby Aotearoa domestic series

SANZAAR refused to comment on South Africa's move, saying it would wait until an executive council meeting expected in the coming weeks. Rugby Australia also declined to comment when contacted by AFP.

South Africa said the world-champion Springboks remained committed to SANZAAR's four-nation Rugby Championship, whose scheduling has sparked complaints by the All Blacks as their players face spending Christmas in quarantine.

While the Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers look to join PRO14, South Africa's Cheetahs will be available for a potential 'Super Series' formed from the wreckage of Super Rugby -- as long as their participation is "cost-neutral at least".

- 'Extraordinary pressure' -

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South African police and soldiers have used rubber bullets to enforce lockdown after hundreds of shoppers gathered outside a supermarket in It comes a day after the country saw its sovereign credit rating downgraded to “junk” status. Though South Africa has a young population, and Covid-19 is

Watch News, Scores and Live Online Streaming of the Super Rugby Matches to all devices. A new south Auckland based group - Moana Pasifika - have launched a bid to become Super Rugby 's much-vaunted new Pacific rugby tea…

"Our members are excited about the prospect of closer alignment with PRO Rugby and seeking a northern hemisphere future," said SA Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux.

"However, we would not have been taking this decision but for actions elsewhere," he added, referring to the decisions of New Zealand and Australia.

A significant part of the PRO14 appeal for South Africa is the time zone, with the widest difference with Britain and Ireland being two hours for six months each year, compared with 11 hours for New Zealand.

Through the quarter-century of Super Rugby, South Africans have had to watch matches from New Zealand and Japan before breakfast, from Australia in mid-morning and from Argentina after midnight.

New Zealand is working on plans for a second domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa competition, with the possibility of its five domestic franchises being joined by a Pacific islands side.

Australia is backing a trans-Tasman competition, although the two sides have been at odds over how many Australian teams will take part.

However, Robinson denied Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan's assertion that relations were at their "lowest ebb".

"We're working in extraordinary times with extraordinary pressure," Robinson said. "We know there's challenges. We know there's tension but ultimately we believe in a common goal."

cf/th

New looks but old baggage for All Blacks, Wallabies .
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The All Blacks and Wallabies meet on Sunday in a Bledisloe Cup rugby test that marks the start of a new era between national teams also burdened with old baggage. Both teams will be playing for the first time under new head coaches. Former assistant Ian Foster has had to wait almost a year to lead the New Zealand All Blacks for the first time. New Zealand-born Dave Rennie is also making a delayed start to his Wallabies tenure with Australia. The All Blacks also have a new captain, Sam Cane, a resilient backrower who follows in the footsteps of Richie McCaw and Kieran Read.

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