View Full Version : changes next year
well some big changes next year in the air nz cup. 2 teams will be cut and the bottom team is going to play a promotion/regulation game with the top team of the heartland championship. ranfurly sheild will also be put on the line at any game after 4 succesful defences except finals games.
The NZRU says two teams will be dumped from the Air New Zealand Cup at the end of this season.
A review of the competition by the Rugby Union will see 12 teams participate from 2009. The competition will feature 11 weeks of round robin play and a two week finals series. The last placed team will also play a promotion - relegation match against the winning team of the Heartland Championship.
After four successful home defences, the holder will be required to put the Shield on the line every time they play, whether home or away, excluding playoff matche
05-08-08, 11:14 PM
The new Air New Zealand Cup competition will feature:
* 12 teams;
* A round robin over 11 weeks with each team playing five or six home and five or six away matches;
* Two week final series with semi-finals and a final;
* The last-placed team in the competition will play a promotion/relegation match against the team that wins the AA Rewards Heartland Championship (or any equivalent competition) with the match to be played at the home venue of the team from the lower division. Further work will be carried out on whether a criteria assessment will be required for teams seeking promotion.
The NZRU will commence a review of the AA Rewards Heartland Championship taking account of the fact that additional teams will need to be accommodated.
The NZRU recommends changing the Ranfurly Shield regulations to provide that after the holder of the Shield has successfully defended the Shield at home on four occasions, all matches played by the holder after this fourth defence, whether in that year or subsequent years and whether home or away, will become mandatory challenges with the exception of any semi-final or final matches
Subject to the outcome of any review of the AA Rewards Heartland Championship the NZRU intends to recommend a change to the Ranfurly Shield regulations to provide that the winners of the previous year's Meads and Lochore Cups will automatically be granted a Shield challenge in the following year (in that order). In the event that the holder of the Ranfurly Shield is a Heartland Championship Provincial Union then the holder will be required to accept at least one pre-season challenge from an Air New Zealand Cup provincial union.
The NZRU board considers that it is necessary to:
Retain a salary cap at the Air New Zealand Cup level to encourage the spread of talent, which in turn leads to a more competitive competition, and also to manage costs;
Reduce the current salary cap level and review the design of the salary cap; and
Consider a limit on the number of players that each Provincial Union can contract under the Collective Employment Agreement as part of the salary cap design.
The NZRU intends to perform further analysis on the salary cap level and the number of players that Provincial Unions should be allowed to contract.
The NZRU also intends to explore the concept of Franchise contracting of Super Rugby players and if approved, how Super Rugby players would then be aligned to Provincial Unions for the purpose of playing in the Air New Zealand Cup.
Further work will also be done on whether there is a need to restrict the demands that can be placed on players in the Air New Zealand Cup and on the NZRU's intention to reduce the number of loan players that an Air New Zealand Cup province can select in its playing 22. It is proposed that this limit be set at three players.
Final determination of each of these issues will be subject to negotiations with the New Zealand Rugby Players Association regarding the Collective Employment Agreement and any requirements under the Commerce Act.
personally i think that the ranfuly shield decision to change it to compulsary defenses after 4 succesful home defenses is a good one. Also that the winners of the two lower competitions have a shot at it the next year as well a good move. This gives the smaller unions more chance to see the shield and even though its still unlikely that they will win it who knows what will happen. But it may devalue the shield as well. Its meant to be hard for the away team to come and take it from the home team, now they will make it that much harder for the shield holders to keep it for long periods of time. But that cant always be a bad thing either.
Tasmans already gone, who else is going to get cut? My moneys on Manawatu. Shithouse team with a shithouse stadium, and the Hurricanes will still have 3 teams in their catchment area. Of the other new teams Hawkes Bay is a proven success both on the field and off the field, and is a talent hot bed, while Counties is too big a population and talent base to ignore.
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