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'There are cracks in their system and they need us more than ever'

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Peter Meecham/Getty Images)

RA boss Hamish McLennan has doubled down on his criticism of the current Australia/New Zealand Super Rugby Pacific partnership, insisting the alliance has got to change if it is to have a future. It was in June when the RA CEO told Fox Sports that they were seriously considering ditching the NZR teams and creating their own tournament once the existing Super Rugby Pacific deal expires in 2023.


McLennan claimed at the time that “all (RA) bets are off” with the NZR, a view that didn’t go down well on the other side of the Tasman. At the heart of the dispute is an imbalanced broadcast revenue split. Previously in Super Rugby. when teams from South Africa, Argentina and Japan were also involved, broadcast revenue was shared evenly between participating unions.

That, though, is no longer the case with Super Rugby Pacific as the NZR rakes in a reported $98million from its broadcast partner Sky, a figure that dwarfs the $36.3m deal that RA has with Channel Nine and Stan. This has led to sabre rattling in Australia, a stance that RA boss McLennan has now reiterated in a column in the latest edition of Rugby World magazine.

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“We’re very open to an aligned global calendar in the men’s game and are talking to World Rugby about how best to achieve that end goal. As for Super Rugby, common sense will hopefully prevail, but for it to work it needs to be an equal partnership.

“Let’s not forget, Australia has a much larger economy and five times the population of New Zealand. It’s not been an equal partnership and gone are the days when New Zealand can dictate the terms of everything.


”There are cracks in the system and they need us more than ever. We won’t participate unless it’s a 50-50 joint venture… I want to be able to build a strong rugby ecosystem that will live for a long, long time.”


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1 Comment
Willie 672 days ago

"Australia has a much larger economy and 5 times the population" McLennan.
Shouldn't that be a case put to Stan and Nine, or have they already told RA their product is poor?
Rugby in Aust is on the edge of a crevasse and should not be throwing stones at the rescuer.
Reduce Aust teams to 3, hopefully become more competitive and then negotiate a better deal behind closed doors.

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