16 Aug 2010

South Africa considers SANZAR breakup - report

12:02 pm on 16 August 2010

A report in a South African newspaper says the South African Rugby Union is looking at the possibility of breaking away from the SANZAR alliance because its relationship with Australia and New Zealand is damaged.

The Sunday Times newspaper says the South African Rugby Union (SARU) has already discussed the issue with board chairman Jan Marais, and is looking elsewhere when the current SANZAR deal runs out in 2015.

That could mean the end of its participation in Super Rugby and the expanded Tri-Nations competition, which is set to include Argentina.

The newspaper says the relationship has reached an all-time low after Springboks' complaints about referees in the away leg of the Tri-Nations and the resultant charge of misconduct against Springbok coach Peter de Villiers.

It also cited disciplinary hearings that seemed to go against South African players and SANZAR's letter seeking clarification on South African Rugby Union president Oregan Hoskins's supposed "declaration of war" comments.

Rugby commentator Keith Quinn says he doubts South Africa would quit the SANZAR alliance because the quality of its rugby would suffer.