Further expansion of Super Rugby is an inevitable economic necessity according to New Zealand Rugby boss Steve Tew.
"When we go to the next set of broadcasting deals we have to be sure we have a footprint in South America, a footprint in Asia and possible other markets or we will go bust because we continue to compete against the clubs up here (in Europe).
"We have set this conference structure up so that future expansion will be possible and more sensible in terms of travel and workload but we have to break into new markets," Tew told Radio Sport's The Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast today.
If New Zealand wanted to be involved in professional rugby they had to broaden their range well beyond the domestic scene and trans-Tasman matches.
"We have to have a competition involving other countries and by geography that is complex," Tew added.
He is in London for commercial negotiations and the latest World Rugby meeting where former England captain Bill Beaumont was elected chairman to succeed Bernard Lapasset. Former Pumas captain Agustin Pichot was elected his deputy.
Listen: The Crowd Goes Wild Breakfast interview Steve Tew
Tew said the future of Sanzar was always near the top of the agenda at these meetings.
It was a tournament which had to compete against other competitions like French club rugby which had just signed a new television deal and the England club scene where the salary cap was being raised as sponsorship and investment continued to multiply.
"We can sit in New Zealand and play ourselves but that won't last long until we are all finished," Tew said.
The conference structure was not perfect but it laid a foundation for the future which Sanzar officials thought would work.
Discussion about the international calendar from 2020 continued to was deal with a range of needs and a myriad of issues.
Forever expanding competition:
1996-2005 - 12 teams
2006-2010 - 14 teams
2011-2015 - 15 teams
2016 - 18 teams