News in Brief
SANZAR confirm Super 15 contenders
August 19, 2009
The Southern Kings made their competitive bow against the British & Irish Lions earlier this year
© Getty Images
- SANZAR, the governing body of the Tri-Nations and Super 14, have confirmed the receipt of two expressions of interest to join an extended Super Rugby tournament from 2011.
The competition, which involves teams from South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, will expand to 15 teams and be split into three conferences in two years time.
The Australian Rugby Union are backing Melbourne as their preferred location for the 15th franchise, who will play their rugby in the Australian conference. The ARU is now working with the three applicants from Melbourne to prepare a single bid for consideration by SANZAR.
The other bid comes from the Southern Kings Franchise in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and has been endorsed by the South African Rugby Union. Both applicants have until September 25 to submit a formal application for entry and a business plan to SANZAR, who are expected to announce the successful bid in October.
- Simon Halliday has resigned as a non-executive director of Bath as part of a management shake-up at the club following a series of drug-related incidents this year.
The Guardian reports that Halliday, the former England international who played for Bath during their pre-eminent years in the English game, resigned as a council member of the Rugby Football Union two years ago to take up his role at Bath and become a link between the club's owner, Andrew Brownsword, and the playing side.
"Recent off-field appointments have strengthened the management structure, and the club is happy to move forward on this basis," said Halliday. "I have therefore stood down from any formal involvement with Bath."
Nick k Blofeld starts work as Bath's chief executive next month and he wants to involve a number of the club's former internationals. "I remain a committed supporter of Bath and their efforts to reach the top of club rugby in Britain and Europe," said Halliday. "I wish Nick the best of luck for the challenges that lie ahead. Bath have been the stand-out team in the Premiership in the last couple of seasons and Steve Meehan, in my opinion, is comfortably the best coach in the United Kingdom."
- Four Auckland Grammar and five Kelston Boys High first XV rugby players have been suspended for their roles in an ugly on-field rugby brawl last Saturday.
The Auckland Grammar students will miss Saturday's Auckland secondary schools final after being suspended for varying periods, the longest ending on October 4. But the Kelston students received the harsher penalties from the Auckland Rugby Union disciplinary committee - suspension for periods between 10 and 18 months.