News in Brief
Sanzar invite interest in 15th Super side
The Bulls celebrate winning the 2009 Super 14 crown earlier this year
© Getty Images
- Expressions of interest have been called from applicants wanting to host the 15th team when Super Rugby expands from 2011.
Southern hemisphere conglomerate Sanzar said today that a decision on the location of the new team will be made by November and has ruled out expanding into any countries outside South Africa, Australia or New Zealand for now.
The new-look structure of the competition will see Super rugby played in conferences, with the 15th team to be part of the Australian conference with Melbourne considered a frontrunner to host the new franchise.
"Geographical location and the time-zone of the new team will be a key consideration for Sanzar," a press release said. A letter inviting an application of interest has been sent to the Samoan Rugby Union "so that it can consider whether it wishes to mount a bid," Sanzar said.
Expressions of interest must be registered by July 22 and a decision on the identity and location of the new team is expected by November. The organisation gave no indication why it favoured an application from Samoa over similar expressions of interest from Tonga and Fiji. The group has also sent letters to the national rugby unions of Argentina, Canada, Fiji, Japan, the United States and Tonga, telling them they were not currently seen as potential expansion locations.
"Sanzar sees the change in the competition format from 2011 as a first step in positioning Super rugby to allow for future opportunities," the group said in a joint statement.
- IRB Sevens Player of the Year, Ollie Phillips, is relishing the idea of representing the 'British Lions' at the Olympics on home soil in 2012.
The Great Britain Sevens team would be without the Republic of Ireland players at the event but the England player said: "Playing for Great Britain in Sevens at the Olympics would be the ultimate for me. Making the Lions 15-a-side team is hard enough, so to potentially make a seven-a-side 'Lions' team would be unbelievable."
- British & Irish Lions tighthead prop Euan Murray is set to miss the start of next season because he requires an operation on his injured leg.
The Scot received the injury in the Lions' final warm-up match against the Southern Kings, four days before the Test series started, ruling him out of the rest of the tour.
It is believed that the 28-year-old's injury is worse than first thought, as he not only damaged ankle ligaments but also broke a bone in his shin.
It means he is certain to miss the Saint's first Guinness Premiership game of the season on September 5 against Worcester at Franklin's Gardens.
- Wellington were made to work hard for their rewards before retaining Ranfurly Shield with a 61-6 victory against Wanganui at Cooks Gardens on Thursday .
Wanganui held the visitors to 6-26 until midway through the second half before two tries within one minute to wing David Smith and second five-eighth Charlie Ngatai gave the visitors sudden momentum.
Wellington's next shield defence doubles as their opening NZ Cup home match, against Otago in Wellington on July 31.