8 Oct 2011

Australian union rejects IRB suggestions that ABs replaceable

11:56 am on 8 October 2011

The head of the Australian Rugby Union John O'Neil has rejected suggestions by the head of the International Rugby Board that the All Blacks aren't essential to the World Cup.

The head of the IRB, Mike Miller, made the comment earlier this week in response to suggestions that the New Zealand Rugby Union may boycott the next cup unless changes are made to its structure.

The NZRU says participating in the tournament has cost them $13 million.

O'Neil says competing in the World Cup costs the ARU $20 million.

He says threatening a boycott is not the Australian union's style but equally the notion that any team is replaceable is nonsensical.

He doubts a tournament that didn't feature the All Blacks, the Wallabies or South Africa could genuinely be called a World Cup.