Australia's Super Rugby Franchises Concerned Over League's Expansion Plan
Australia's five Super Rugby franchises "are becoming increasingly concerned at the wisdom of SANZAR’s plan to expand the competition to 17 or 18 teams in 2016," according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. One franchise CEO said, "First and foremost, we’ve got to look at whether the expansion plans are in the best interests of Australia." The CEOs of the Waratahs, Reds, Brumbies, Western Force and Melbourne Rebels will meet Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver "to express their concerns ahead of the Australian Rugby Union’s annual general meeting in May." South Africa "is pushing hard for the current 15-team competition to be expanded once the new broadcast agreement comes into effect in 2016." The South African government views the addition of a sixth franchise "as a key plank in its campaign to pull the once all-white sport of rugby into line with its transformation plans" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 4/17).