4 Aug 2008

Some clarity over domestic structure in next day or two

7:45 pm on 4 August 2008

The New Zealand Rugby board is expected to make a decision on proposed changes to the national provincial competition by the middle of the week.

The board met over the weekend and NZRU communications managar Brian Finn says the outcome of the review will be announced late Tuesday or early Wednesday.

However the structure for next year -- including the number of teams to be culled -- won't be announced til next week.

The board will then ratify the decision in September, following discussion with the unions.

Smaller unions have found the competition too expensive and crowd numbers seemingly can't sustain the cost of a fully professional competition with a 14-team structure.

The Tasman union looks likely to be one top-flight casualty after last week being granted a six figure bail-out by the NZRU so its team could continue in the competition this season, but how many teams will be competing in 2009 isn't yet known.