RA Confident About Reaching Settlement Allowing IPRC, Super Rugby To Coexist
Rugby Australia Deputy Chair Brett Robinson is heading into negotiations on Tuesday with Andrew Forrest's Indo-Pacific Rugby Championship "confident the two parties can reach a settlement that will allow the IPRC to coexist with Super Rugby" from '19, according to Wayne Smith of THE AUSTRALIAN. There are "indications RA is prepared to work with Forrest." The IPRC expressed concern that RA was "reluctant to give a long-term commitment to the competition" but Robinson on Monday indicated RA was looking at whether Forrest's competition "might be worked into the post-2020 landscape." Robinson said, "The issue around the term (of the agreement) we're certainly open to discuss but really what we're seeking to achieve is a trigger for a conversation around alignment going into the next broadcast deal." What that means is Australia is "looking to a time when South Africa might decide its future lies in Europe, at which point RA would be looking at how Super Rugby evolves." The proposal is that New Zealand and Australia each would field five teams, which "presumably would mean the Western Force would be revived, and that the trans-Tasman partners would join Forrest's five Asia teams to form a 15-team time-zone friendly competition." By the time of the next broadcast deal, the IPRC would have been running for two seasons. It "makes sense that the IPRC is going head to head with Super Rugby in the February-July timeslot rather than taking on the National Rugby Championship" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 12/12).