The Northern Advocate

Australia and NZ strike Super deal


The future of Super Rugby Pacific has been secured until 2030, with New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia extending their joint venture agreement.

After a turbulent few months of squabbling between the nations, a broadcast revenue sharing agreement has been reached until the end of 2025.

The settlement will see the current men’s format remain intact for now.

NZR chief executive Mark Robinson said the agreement represents a unified commitment between the nations.

“This long-term agreement provides certainty and solidifies our joint commitment to ensuring Super Rugby Pacific is the most entertaini­ng, innovative and fan-focused cross-border club competitio­n in the world.”

RA chief executive Andy Marinos said they will continue to experiment with law changes to achieve an fast-flowing brand of rugby.

“RA and NZR are committed to the developmen­t of the most exciting form of rugby in the world, through trialing and implementi­ng new rules, new ways of engaging fans and broadcast innovation­s with our partners.’’

An integrated women’s competitio­n will also be explored, combining Super Rugby Aupiki and Australia’s Super W.

Robinson said there is a collective commitment to grow the women’s profession­al competitio­ns alongside the men’s.

“While it is not a case of copy and paste with the men’s structure in Super Rugby Pacific, we believe there are enormous opportunit­ies to build a world class cross border profession­al women’s club competitio­n.

No dates have yet been confirmed for the venture.

A new governance model will be introduced with a nine person board, featuring an independen­t chair, four independen­t directors and one representa­tive from each union and each players associatio­n.

RA had previously threatened to split from NZR and create their own domestic competitio­n, after chairman Hamish McLennan reportedly told his Kiwi counterpar­t Stewart Mitchell there was no guarantee they would remain in Super Rugby after 2023.

Tennis: Tournament director Nicolas Lamperin has unveiled all his signings for the women’s ASB Classic but remains hopeful one or two more box-office players will enter before next week’s deadline. Entries close Tuesday with the full field unveiled Wednesday. Czech teenage sisters Linda and Brenda Fruhvirtov­a are the latest to commit, joining world No 7 Coco Gauff, former US Open champions Emma Raducanu and Sloane Stephens and Canadian Leylah Fernandez.

Football: French referee Ste´phanie Frappart became the first woman to take charge of a men’s World Cup game when she blew her whistle to start Thursday’s Germany v Costa Rica match. Frappart also had two women as assistants — Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico — to complete an all-female refereeing team on the field.

Cycling: The final stage of the Tour De France, traditiona­lly held on Paris’ Champs Elysees, will be moved to Nice in 2024 due to the Olympics.

Golf: Kiwi golfer Amelia Garvey closed her opening round at the LPGA Tour’s Q-Series event in Alabama with a three-under par 69. She’s tied for 12th, four shots off the lead. Garvey needs a top45 finish to earn LPGA status next year — the field is cut from 100 to 70 after four of eight rounds.

Squash: Paul Coll and Joelle King are through to the quarter-finals of squash’s Hong Kong Open.

Boxing: WBC heavyweigh­t world champion Tyson Fury and Derek Chisora face off at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium in London on Sunday morning. The “Gypsy King” Fury is expected to complete a winning trilogy over the 38-year-old opponent he beat in 2011 and 2014. The fight will be Fury’s first since his sixth-round stoppage of Dilli\an Whyte.

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