NZ Rugby World
STORYLINES THAT WILL HOLD THE NATIONAL AGENDA
1 : THE BUSINESS CASE FOR PASIFIKA?
Two Pacific teams – Moana Pasifika and Fiji – have been awarded preferred partner status to try to enter Super Rugby in 2022.
They have to develop business plans and prove they can be sustainable, high performance teams by the time the 2022 tournament kicks off.
It’s going to be a massive challenge for both to prove they are ready and no doubt there will be various headlines along the way this year claiming all sorts.
This is a story that will bubble along for the next 12 months – especially if Moana Pasifika contract a few high profile players.
2 : WHEN WILL WE SEE WOMEN'S SUPER RUGBY
We wrote this last year…the whole business of growing the women's elite/professional game has stalled a bit in the last nine months or so.
There was solid progress with the introduction of retainer contracts for the best players in 2018 and lots of noise made about the creation of a professional competition, but so far... nothing.
A women's Super Rugby concept has merit and surely has to be the goal? A cross-border competition would help grow the game both here and in Australia and potentially the Pacific Islands and that would automatically strengthen the national sides of Australia and perhaps Fiji.
If there is no progress or hint of it coming, this could be a big story. Covid put everything on hold but what we wrote last year remains just as valid now.
33 : TRANS TASMAN RELATIONS
The relationship between New Zealand and Australia collapsed during lockdown and then was restored somewhat after it.
The big hope is that now that
Australia have a chief executive – former Sanzaar boss Andy Marinos - and a TV deal, that negotiations can be fast tracked to sign off on the plan to rebuild a 12-team competition in 2022 that will feature New Zealand teams, five Australian teams, plus Moana Pasifika and Fiji.
There’s a bit of discussion to go yet as to how it will all play out but the expectation is that there will be an announcement some time in the next few months if not before.