NZ players keen to face the best

New Zealand's rugby players are keen to ensure any future Super Rugby format involves facing the best opposition as it has led to greater competition on the international stage, the head of their union has said.

30 July 2020 | Sports

Nampa/Reuters



With travel restrictions to curb the spread of Covid-19 hindering future cross-border competition, New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has proposed a new format for its sides that does not involve teams from South Africa or Argentina.

NZR Players' Association head Rob Nichol, however, said they were simply addressing the fact that borders might still be closed.

“The players love the idea of travelling abroad and playing fixtures against really good opposition,” Nichol told Reuters. “But the way we are with Covid, the future might look different.

“We may be still consigned to our own borders.”

Super Rugby was supposed to revert to a 14-team round robin format next year, but NZR's plans for a competition involving eight to 10 teams had been read as the organisation abandoning the southern hemisphere's South Africa, New Zealand, Australia and Argentina Rugby (Sanzaar) alliance.



Agreement stands

Nichol, however, said as far as he knew, NZR remains committed to Sanzaar, which organises the Super Rugby club tournament and the international Rugby Championship.

“NZR is not walking away from Sanzaar,” Nichol said.

“They've just recognised that they can't have a Super 14 next year so what they're doing is looking at what they can do.”

One possibility would be playing club teams from South Africa, Argentina and Japan in a crossover tournament at the conclusion of New Zealand's Super Rugby competition, he said.

However, for that to happen, World Rugby would need to broker an agreement between national unions and the powerful European clubs on a global calendar, allowing them to shift test windows to the end of the year.



Flexibility

Current test windows are in June and July, when northern hemisphere teams travel south, and November and December, when the south travel north.

The Rugby Championship is played from August to October, while the Six Nations is in February and March.

Nichol said shifting the mid-year tests to an extended October to December window would allow that flexibility for a cross-border club competition in the southern hemisphere.

Those matches got the players excited, he said, while the long-haul travel and weeks away from home had helped prepare them for the intensity of tests, which spilled over into the international arena and ultimately Rugby World Cups.



Performing week in, week out

Southern hemisphere teams have won eight of the nine global tournaments and five of the six since rugby went professional in 1996.

“Super Rugby has been fantastic for the southern hemisphere,” he said. “I'd argue it's a big reason why southern hemisphere countries have done so well at Rugby World Cups because they're so used to travelling to foreign environments and performing week in, week out.”

Similar News

 

Tennis sheds its elitist image

11 hours ago | Sports

Jesse Jackson Kauraisa WINDHOEKThe game of tennis in Namibia has gradually moved from an era where it was regarded as a 'white sport'...

MTSL to commence in September

11 hours ago | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISAWINDHOEK The Maize Triangle Soccer League (MTSL) will restart during the weekend of 5 September, Touch & Go spokesperson and league member Jefta...

Five substitutes allowed as competition returns

11 hours ago | Sports

Nampa/ANAThe Premier Soccer League (PSL) on Tuesday announced special substitute allowances during games ahead of the resumption of domestic football in South Africa on Saturday.The...

NGF's powers seized

11 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIWINDHOEKDue to turmoil and divided factions, the Namibia Gymnastics Federation (NGF) has been placed under administration, it was announced yesterday by the Namibia Sports...

NASA postponed

11 hours ago | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIWINDHOEKThe 17th edition of the Namibia Annual Sport Awards (NASA) has been postponed to October next year.This announcement was made by Freddy Mwiya, chairperson...

Junior cricket tournament launched

11 hours ago | Sports

NAMPAYesterday Cricket Namibia (CN) launched a new youth developmental cricket tournament in Windhoek called the National African Personal Services (APS) Sixes.This tournament will cater for...

No more turf invasions

1 day - 05 August 2020 | Sports

NAMPAThe Namibia Horse Racing Association (NHRA) will in future make use of the Namibian Police to control spectators at its events and enforce adherence to...

Athletes want their share

1 day - 05 August 2020 | Sports

LIMBA MUPETAMIWINDHOEKThe ministry of sports and the Namibia Sports Commission have still not rewarded athletes who won silverware for Namibia at international competitions last year.Namibian...

Kekana admits fans worry ahead of restart

1 day - 05 August 2020 | Sports

SUPERSPORTMamelodi Sundowns captain Hlompho Kekana admits it will take some getting used to playing in front of empty stands for the remainder of the 2019/20...

KTS-toernooi in Okahandja ‘n reusesukses

2 days ago - 04 August 2020 | Sports

Mariselle StofbergJong tennisspelers het weer die afgelope naweek die geleentheid gekry om hul talente tydens die Kallie Tennis Skool (KTS)-toernooi ten toon te stel. Met...

Latest News

River-crossing fugitive in custody

11 hours ago | Crime

OGONE TLHAGEWINDHOEKImmanuel David, a Namibian-born South African passport holder who entered the country illegally by crossing the Orange River in a canoe in June, has...

Harambee goal down the toilet

11 hours ago | Government

Jo-Maré Duddy WINDHOEK Of the 50 000 toilets in informal settlements in rural areas President Hage Geingob promised in his Harambee Prosperity Plan (HPP)...

Contraceptive shortage: 27 900 unintended...

11 hours ago | Health

JEMIMA BEUKESWINDHOEKA study predicts that up to 27 900 unintended pregnancies may occur in Namibia because of a shortage of contraceptives brought about by the...

RFA spend massive amounts

11 hours ago | Economics

The Road Fund Administration (RFA) has over the past five-years allocated N$ 177.2 million to the City of Windhoek towards road maintenance and traffic law...

Rid Namibian police of rogue...

11 hours ago | Opinion

Videos of Namibian police officers assaulting alleged illegal immigrants from Zambia are a continuation of many violations that have become common place within the national...

'Covid-19 used for hidden agendas'

11 hours ago | Labour

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Trade Union Congress of Namibia (Tucna) yesterday accused government of purposefully using the Covid-19 pandemic to clandestinely and deliberately destroy parastatals,...

Otavi man commits suicide by...

11 hours ago | Crime

NAMPAOTJIWARONGOA 30-year-old man from Otavi committed suicide by allegedly drinking acid on Monday.Otjozondjupa police spokesperson, Inspector Maureen Mbeha, said yesterday the deceased has been identified...

N$5.5m for wildlife protection

11 hours ago | Environment

ELLANIE SMIT WINDHOEK The Game Product Trust Fund (GPTF) has become increasingly important in protecting wildlife due to a lack of funding from government. The...

COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

11 hours ago | Business

Disney takes US$5 billion hit Walt Disney Co avoided the unmitigated disaster some investors feared as it eked out an adjusted profit amid the coronavirus...

Load More