5 May 2020

No major change to Super Rugby for another two years

5:31 am on 5 May 2020

Super Rugby has moved to quell speculation about the demise of the competition saying it's committed to a 14 team competition beyond next year.

Jack Goodhue of the Crusaders eludes Ash Dixon of the Highlanders during the Super Rugby match, Crusaders v Highlanders at Orangetheory Stadium, Christchurch, New Zealand, 21st February 2020.Copyright photo: John Davidson / www.photosport.nz

Super Rugby Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

Sanzaar chief executive Andy Marinos says speculation regarding the future of Super Rugby and the Four Nations has been misleading.

Marinos said the impact of the pandemic is likely to mean a domestic focus in each territory when the competition resumes but long term Sanzaar has already sold a 14-team super rugby competition as well as a four team Rugby Championship to broadcasters.

The New Zealand, Australia, Argentina and South Africa rugby unions have also all committed to the joint venture through until 2030, he said.

"I can confirm that none of the suggested models or structures that have been commented on recently, such as stand-alone Trans-Tasman formats, have been agreed by any of the SANZAAR unions individually or collectively. All such reports are merely speculative and have no basis to them," he said in a statement.

"This is not to say that we are not having realistic discussions on what may have to eventuate should COVID-19 restrictions continue beyond 2020.

"We are presently looking in detail at various competition formats but any agreed format will include teams from all four stakeholder national unions. Due to uncertainty over what various government restrictions, if any, may look like next year including international travel, no date has been set yet as to when a decision will be made on 2021 and beyond," he said.

"A major consideration is that we also have an obligation to discuss any contingencies with our broadcaster partners in the first instance after which we will make public comment."

Upon resuming, Super Rugby would likely have "a strong domestic focus in each territory" initially, SANZAAR said, given travel and border restrictions.