15 May 2009

Rugby nations avoid split

8:57 am on 15 May 2009

A split among the three rugby nations known as SANZAR has been avoided after a meeting in Dublin.

South Africa had fallen out with Australia and New Zealand over a plan to expand the Super 14 series to 15 teams from 2011.

There were fears South Africa would break away, threatening the Super 14 and Tri-Nations tournaments, because the SARU did not want disruption of the main domestic competition, the Currie Cup.

But an agreement on a new structure has been reached, although officials are not giving any details yet.

The current SANZAR agreement on Super 14 expires at the end of 2010. The three unions are due to present a new proposal to broadcasters at the end of June.

New Zealand Rugby Union chief executive Steve Tew says he is relieved and very happy that the SANZAR agreement remains intact.

He says discussions were held about adding Argentina to the Tri-Nations series, but that is probably still some way down the track.