A mooted Australasian Super Rugby competition is being discussed by Super Rugby officials as one of various options to resurrect the suspended season.
There have long been calls for New Zealand and Australia to break away from the status quo and turn Super Rugby into an Asia-Pacific-based competition rather than a southern hemisphere tournament.
Two-time World Cup-winning Wallabies midfielder Tim Horan said on Saturday that the ANZAC nations should tap into the Asian market rather than persist with the unfavourable time zones of South Africa and Argentina.
Brumbies chief executive Phil Thomson has since doubled down on those comments, indicating to the Canberra Times that a trans-Tasman format could help revitalise waning interest in the 15-man code in Australia.
“We’re probably focusing more on a domestic trans-Tasman competition, but at this stage, the Super Rugby competition is still being looked at in its entirety because it’s such an unknown,” he said.
“I think if you get towards October, that’s getting too late. October is probably a crunch date. There is lots of modelling of competitions going on about when we might be able to start again if the government and health authorities make that possible.
“The thing to take into account here with us is that our competition is an international competition and what that might look like. It depends on what the border situation is as we go through the next few months.”
Rival code rugby league has set a return date of May 28 via Australia’s NRL competition, but it’s unlikely rugby union will follow suit so swiftly.
As it stands, both Super Rugby and international fixtures remain very much up in the air for the remainder of this year, with border restrictions threatening to scupper all action throughout the forthcoming months.
“There’s a lot of other things you have got to take into account. We’ve got test match commitments with the southern hemisphere and northern hemisphere, and look at how you can get that content rolling again.”
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