27 May 2009

Ten-team Air NZ Cup looking likely

7:29 am on 27 May 2009

It looks as if there'll be 10 teams in rugby's Air New Zealand Cup provincial championship from 2011.

The NZRU has disclosed further principles for the restructured competition following last week's two-day workshop in Wellington.

There'll be promotion-relegation, with a guarantee of four or five home games per team.

A full round robin and play-offs will be completed within 10 to 12 weeks, finishing by the end of October.

So without midweek games that looks like a fit for 10 teams.

NZRU chief executive Steve Tew says the need for fewer teams is accepted as long as meaningful competition is available for all 14 unions now in the Air New Zealand Cup.

Tew says ideally any new competition model could see the Heartland Championship maintained in its current format.