23 Jul 2009

2 NZ unions interested in 15th Super franchise in NZ

1:24 pm on 23 July 2009

Two New Zealand provincial unions have expressed an interest in wanting to establish the 15th Super rugby team when the competition expands in 2011.

The two applicants are the Hawke's Bay Rugby Football Union and a bid on behalf of the Taranaki region.

The NZRU will assess the documents over the coming weeks and decide whether one, both or neither of them should be forwarded to SANZAR for its consideration next month.

NZRU CEO Steve Tew says there is a big question mark over New Zealand's capacity to sustain and achieve success with more than the five franchises, so that will have a bearing on their considerations.

SANZAR will next month consider all expressions of interest passed on by the National Unions of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.

The 15th team will be included in a new "Australian Conference" from 2011 when the competition format takes on a fresh look.

The Australian Rugby Union announced that 6 bodies had expressed interest in that country.