SANZAR open to including Pacific Island team in Super Rugby

Ma'atulimanu Leiataua of Samoa celebrates with his team mates after scoring during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty
Ma'atulimanu Leiataua of Samoa celebrates with his team mates after scoring during the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Photo / Getty

SANZAR have praised the strong support and competitiveness of rugby in the Pacific Islands, saying they will not rule out their inclusion in a further Super Rugby expansion.

SANZAR boss Andy Marinos said the addition of a Pacific Island team into the Super Rugby competition was a serious consideration and one that would be assessed thoroughly.

"SANZAR's never deliberately ignored the Pacific Islands," Marinos told TVNZ.

"There's always been a natural transfer of players into Australia and New Zealand and you are seeing a lot of those guys coming through the system and are playing on a regular basis."

Marinos also didn't doubt the ability of the Pacific Island's team to perform once in the Super Rugby structure, saying they would certainly have a strong and competitive team and that would be an attractive asset moving forward.

A Pacific Island team already missed the cut with this year's expansion, SANZAR instead opting for teams from Japan, Argentina and South Africa.

Marinos said SANZAR would assess the value of a Pacific Island team against the others to see whether or not it was a viable option.

"It's going to be a case of modelling and positioning and seeing from a commercial and high performance perspective, how does it stack up and how could it fit into a structure should we look to expand," Marinos said.

"It's a continuous process of working through how we can get the best result out of the geographies we are looking at."

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