New Zealand Rugby has set up a committee to review the Super Rugby model after the ongoing season was disrupted by the pandemic coronavirus.
The committee will comprise of CEO Mark Robinson, chairman Brent Impey, the chairs of the five New Zealand Super Rugby and private investor representative Liz Dawson with Blues chairman Don Mackinnon heading them.
The ongoing season that consists of 15 teams across various countries has seen only seven rounds played and even though the organisers are determined to complete the tournament when situation improves, the travel restrictions and other factors could motivate the boards to have a local model in place.
“The work we are announcing today will look at a range of options for the future of Super Rugby in New Zealand with the goal of offering a competition that engages fans, is financially sustainable whilst continuing to develop outstanding players ready for national representative rugby,” Mackinnon said in a statement.
“All of the Super Rugby licenses were up for renewal in 2020 and a review was already underway as part of that, however the impact of Covid-19 creates another dimension and means we need to take a broader look at how we continue the 25 year legacy of Super Rugby for New Zealand.
“The scope of Aratipu will include the New Zealand Super Rugby competition (local and offshore), clarify Super Rugby’s role in the domestic high-performance pathway, review the ownership and equity structure, and digital rights. We will consult widely and think broadly.”
Meanwhile NZR chief executive Robinson said the board will be committed to SANZAAR in completing the ongoing season but his Australian counterpart Paul McLean doubts whether it would be possible with Argentina and South African teams also involved in the competition.
"I can't see and (NZR) can't see South Africa and Argentina being involved anywhere in the short term along the way," McLean told The Australian newspaper.