6 Sep 2008

Tasman to appeal against rugby demotion

6:37 am on 6 September 2008

The Tasman Rugby Union is entering a last minute appeal to avoid being dropped from the Air New Zealand Cup next season.

The New Zealand Rugby Union is reducing the number of teams in the top tier national provincial competition from 14 to 12, and plans to demote Tasman and Northland.

Tasman chief executive Peter Barr says a demotion to the Heartland championship would be a massive blow to the region, and the union was to file an appeal by Friday's deadline.

He says Nelson can go it alone without Marlborough, which is due to leave the Tasman union.

Mr Barr says costs would be reduced by only having to fund one union, and the player talent locally is proven and recruitment could fill the gaps.

He says he's confident of making a compelling financial case to stay in the top national competition.