News in Brief
Fans sign-up to save provinces
November 13, 2009
Air New Zealand Cup glory could be a fading hope for Tasman
© Getty Images
- A petition with 35,000 signatures seeking to secure the survival of four unions in the Air New Zealand Cup competition is set to be handed into the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).
SaveOurTeams will be handing the petition to rugby manager Neil Sorensen at the NZRU head office and includes signatures from the Save the Makos and from the Save the Turbos supporters groups.
The Tasman Makos and the Manawatu Turbos are the two teams most at risk of losing their spot in the competition.
And they have the weight of results at the least in their favour as the organisers pointed to the Makos beating Auckland, North Harbour, and Waikato this year, while Manawatu accounted for Otago and North Harbour.
The petition organisers Kevin Hare and Dave Kirk-Jones call themselves rugby lovers saying that the NZRU is meant to "promote, foster and develop rugby throughout New Zealand" and that culling the smaller teams from the competition is against those principles.
The NZRU are expected to announce this month which four provinces are to be relegated to the first division in 2011 as the old National Provincial Championship format was likely to change once the 14-team competition was deemed unsustainable.
Tasman and Northland were threatened with demotion last season but gained a reprieve, however short-lived that might have been. Also in line was Counties-Manukau, who actually rejected a NZRU bailout package earlier this season that had they accepted would have seem them relegated.