20 Jun 2009

NZRC calls for new domestic competition

6:36 pm on 20 June 2009

The New Zealand Rugby Union says it wants to see a new Domestic Competition structure in place no later than 2011.

The new structure will comprise a 10-team Premier Division, a Division One competition and a Heartland Championship.

It announced the decision on Saturday at a Provincial Union and Franchise workshop in Wellington.

The NZRU Board says the structure is subject to the development of a Division One competition that is meaningful, sustainable, attractive and aspirational.

The Board has also resolved to adopt the competition principles worked out last month.

The key principles are that the competitions must: include Super rugby players; have a stand-alone window of ten to twelve weeks; feature a full round-robin and playoffs; have promotion-relegation; guarantee four or five home games per team; and be concluded by the end of October.

The NZRU CEO, Steve Tew, says the union will be moving as fast as it can to ensure certainty around teams and competitions, and it is possible these competitions could be implemented as soon as next year.