30 Jun 2009

Super 15 expansion sides have heard nothing about criteria

10:07 am on 30 June 2009

Super 15 expansion hopefuls are yet to receive crucial documentation to allow them to bid for a place in the rugby tournament, even as organisers reach a deadline to submit their blueprint to broadcasters.

Super rugby's governing body SANZAR will submit its proposed 24-week competition to bank-rolling rights holder News Limited today.

News has the first right of refusal on the proposed tournament, which would begin in 2011 after the current rights deal expires at the end of next season.

A decision on the 15th team was never going to be made before the June 30 deadline, but Australian Rugby Union officials had previously said bidders would receive the criteria they are expected to meet before then.

The expansion team will play in an Australian conference, although a bizarre South African bid is likely, along with those of favourites Melbourne and the Gold Coast.

Bidding consortia are understandably reluctant to criticise the process too harshly but remain privately perplexed that they have not yet received the crucial criteria.

Gold Coast bid team chief Terry Jackman says they've had no indications on anything so they're just sitting and waiting to see what happens.