Rugby Australia isn’t backing down on keeping five Australian Super Rugby teams and will give New Zealand a deadline to come to the table in a trans-Tasman competition.

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After a three-month consultation process RA has put together a multi-pronged broadcast package that as well as the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championships includes new content such as a State of Origin series, national club championship and a Super Eight play-off tournament.

The latter will involve the top two teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and a team from Japan and South America and will follow various Super Rugby competitions.

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What precedes it is a sticking point, with New Zealand last month asking Australia to submit an expression of interest for two teams to join the Kiwis’ eight-team competition.

That model was rebuffed by RA, with interim chief executive Rob Clarke on Monday underlining that it’s five teams or nothing.

“At Super Rugby level we have two models that we’ve put forward, one is a domestic only model and the other is a trans-Tasman model,” Clarke said.

“We can’t wait much longer on the whole trans-Tasman competition decision so the clock is ticking.

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“We have a put deadline for broadcast submissions for September 4 … so D-day is coming.”

RA had to put together an on-the-run broadcast deal this year when the regular Super Rugby competition was called off due to coronavirus.

With former chief executive Raelene Castle rejecting a $35 million per year offer to take the offer to market, it’s expected that RA will take a big hit on that.

Clarke admitted times were tough but was upbeat that it would prove attractive and said the packages could be split dependent on the broadcasters’ demands.

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“I think in a way we’re entering the market at not a bad time because many of the broadcasters have gone through pretty fundamental renegotiations with a number of other sports and so a lot of their heavy lifting there has been done.

“I think now that we’re coming to market with what we believe is a wonderful and exciting comprehensive package.

“I think they have an appetite and bandwidth to actually consider it seriously.”

WHAT RUGBY AUSTRALIA’S NEW BROADCAST PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • The Rugby Championship – New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina
  • Bledisloe Cup – All Blacks vs Wallabies
  • International tests for the Wallaroos
  • A ‘State of Union’ competition between New South Wales and Queensland, with players to play for their state of birth or where they played their club rugby
  • An Australian domestic Super Rugby competition including five Australian teams, or, a trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition that includes five Australian teams.
  • A four-week Super Eight competition, to be played at the conclusion of the respective domestic Super Rugby competitions, and be a cross-over Championship between the top two teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa as well as one team from Japan and South America
  • A short-form National Club Championship between the top premier club teams in Australia following the completion of the respective club competitions
  • New South Wales’ Shute Shield competition as well as Queensland’s Premier Club Rugby competition
  • A showcase of the best schoolboy rugby in Australia

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