New Zealand Open To Super Rugby Changes, But Several Elements 'Non-Negotiable'
New Zealand "is open-minded to a possible expansion of Super Rugby but have 'non-negotiable' elements" to its thinking, according to Duncan Johnstone of the DOMINION POST. With New Zealand hosting the next Lions tour, in '17, rugby officials "will watch with interest how the structure works though." NZ Rugby Union CEO Steve Tew pointed out, "there were no guarantees Super Rugby would look the same by then." The current model runs out in '15, and already governing body Sanzar "has started workshops and meetings to get a feel for where the massively attractive competition might head." About where Super Rugby might head, Tew made it clear that his organization was "willing to entertain options" but was also "firm in protecting both its own market and also the success and integrity of what had been built since it was launched" in '96. Tew said, "We haven't drawn any lines through anything. The only thing we are adamant about is that we don't want any more rugby for our guys. We think our guys have got enough on their plates as it is. So we have to manage their workload." Tew said New Zealand had made it clear it had things it thinks "are non-negotiable." Tew said, "One is that the workload doesn't increase, two is that we don't do anything to devalue the commercial strength of our competitions and, thirdly, they have to remain sufficiently competitive" (DOMINION POST, 2/13).