19 Sep 2008

Pressure from provincial unions sees NZRU release review rankings

6:51 am on 19 September 2008

Pressure from provincial unions has forced the New Zealand rugby union to release the provincial rankings it drew up as part of the national provincial competition review.

The review proposes a reduction in the current number of teams from 14 to 12 from next year ranked the provinces against criteria including player numbers, recent playing history, player training and development, finances and administration.

Auckland, Canterbury and Wellington filled the top three spots with Southland, Northland and Tasman 12th, 13th and 14th places.

Tasman have already announced they're disbanding while Northland have lodged an appeal over their proposed demotion.

The NZRU's general manager of professional rugby Neil Sorenson says the provincial unions each received their individual ranking but the majority had now asked for those rankings to be made public.

The NZRU board is to make a final decision when it meets next week.