Crusaders chief executive Colin Mansbridge has warned Rugby Australia over playing their own domestic competition next year instead of Super Rugby Trans Tasman competition.
The pandemic coronavirus had disrupted the traditional Super Rugby competition with both Australia and New Zealand ending up playing their own version of the tournament in 2020. However in 2021, in addition to the Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU they agreed to play cross-border competition which is currently dominated by New Zealand teams.
With the 2022 calendar yet to be finalised, Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos opened up the possibility of including a Japanese team in their Super Rugby AU competition with a final decision expected in June.
Earlier, New Zealand Rugby announced that Pacific Island teams Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika have been granted conditional licences to be part of the expanded Super Rugby competition in 2022 to make it a 12-team competition but the move needs approval from their Australian counterpart as well.
Speaking ahead of the round three clash against Waratahs, Crusaders boss Mansbridge said the cross-border competitions will be the way forward to expand the game.
“The last thing you want is each of us doing that [separate competitions] again,” Mansbridge told the Herald.
“I think we need to be playing each other so we can see how each other plays. We would like to be playing Trans-Tasman from the word go.
“Naturally we would be disappointed [if RA broke away]. Maybe a bit of water under the bridge before we get to that end result.
“You’ve got to have faith Aussie teams will learn [from their losses]. They need to be playing us and we need to be playing them.”
All the 10 games in the ongoing Super Rugby Trans Tasman competition have been won by New Zealand sides with Crusaders holding the third place in the table with wins over Brumbies and Queensland Reds.