2 May 2014

NZRU and ARU relationship a little frosty

11:51 am on 2 May 2014

The relationship between the New Zealand and Australian rugby unions appears a little frosty after ARU chief executive Bill Pulver prematurely announced the structure of the revamped Super Rugby competition.

Pulver told Australian media on Wednesday of the new Super 18 competition which will come into effect from 2016, only hours after his New Zealand counterpart Steve Tew had said he was unable to give any update on the matter.

Tew says he's since had an email exchange with Pulver which was rather short in nature although he was surprised news of the revamped competition hadn't been leaked earlier.

From 2016 the current 15-team competition will become a four conference, 18-team competition with a sixth South African side, an Argentina team and yet to be confirmed franchise.

Tew says there has been some interest shown from the likes of Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and the West Coast of the United States.

Tew says SANZAR will run a tender process with the 18th franchise expected to finalised by the end of the year.

The Crusaders coach Todd Blackadder has welcomed the planned changes.

Blackadder believes it's reasonable that South Africa get six teams and doesn't believe New Zealand would be capable of fielding a sixth franchise of suitable quality.