19 Sep 2008

Rugby Union releases competition review rankings

10:31 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, and the union plans to demote Tasman and Northland.

The national union ranked the provinces according to 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 at 12th place, Northland 13th and Tasman in 14th place.

Tasman has already announced it is disbanding while Northland has lodged an appeal over their proposed demotion.

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

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