Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has continued his aggressive approach to Super Rugby negotiations, declaring “gone are the days when New Zealand can dictate the terms of everything.”
While Super Rugby Pacific is locked in for 2023, McLennan has threatened to withdraw from a trans-Tasman-based model in 2024 and run a domestic Australian competition.
And while his Kiwi counterparts prefer to conduct their business behind closed doors, McLennan again went public in an interview with Rugby World magazine.
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“Let’s not forget, Australia has a much larger economy and five times the population of New Zealand,” McLennan said.
“It’s not been an equal partnership and gone are the days when New Zealand can dictate the terms of everything.
“There are cracks in the system and they need us more than ever. We won’t participate unless it’s a 50-50 joint venture… I want to be able to build a strong rugby ecosystem that will live for a long, long time.”
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Robinson tried to put a positive spin on the trans-Tasman situation in an interview with Stuff last week, stating that “we don’t believe it’s a relationship on the rocks.”
“Australia have their challenges, and we need to work with them,” Robinson said.
McLennan added that Australia’s Super Rugby goals were just one component of considerable change that needed to take place in the complex rugby world.
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Super Rugby expanded to include the Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika in 2022.
“We’re very open to an aligned global calendar in the men’s game and are talking to World Rugby about how best to achieve that end goal,” McLennan said.
“As for Super Rugby, common sense will hopefully prevail, but for it to work it needs to be an equal partnership.”
“Hamish has just thrown a hand grenade, but we need the All Blacks, they need us as much as we need them,” Horan said on Stan Sport’s Rugby Heaven.
“How are you going to have a competition with five Australian Super Rugby teams? You’d get sick of playing each other. The fans are just starting to get an understanding of where the calendar lies, and where the table is with 12 teams, with Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika.”
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