ARU boss John O'Neill eyes expansion to Super 15 format in 2011

Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by gho, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. gho

    gho Guest


    Australian Rugby Union (ARU) boss John O'Neill says he expects the Super rugby competition to expand to 15 teams in 2011.
    O'Neill said talks have recommenced between the SANZAR working party after a breakdown in discussions late last year over a proposed 16-team finals series.

    The ARU chief indicated that a Super 15 competition running from the March 1 until early August in 2011 would involve an extra team from either Japan or the Pacific Islands and would incorporate six teams in the finals.

    In the proposed expanded format, teams would play each other once in a round-robin competition before teams from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa would play teams from their own country again.

    "We've renewed the work of the SANZAR working party so we sort of took time out coming into Christmas and back in discussions, it's not CEO level, it's the next level down," O'Neill said, adding that all decisions by SANZAR must be unanimous.

    "It's taking on all of the work that was done last year and in a sense getting it back on track.

    "We're officially back on the normal timetable, we had been trying to accelerate it, (but) under our existing broadcast deal we have to have a proposal to our broadcasters by the 30th of June this year of whatever we think is a reasonable proposal to commence on January 1, 2011.

    "So the metre is ticking, dialogue is good, we're all open to the same ideas that we were talking about last year, but I guess we're not immune at all to the reality of the economic climate."

    O'Neill said it thought it was highly unlikely that there would be any changes to the Super rugby format before 2011 and there would be no change unless broadcasters came to the table.

    "There's a range of options (being discussed), the one in favour at the moment is a Super 15 competition, going from March 1 to the beginning of August, everyone playing each other once and then each of the teams playing in their conferences.

    "That gets you to 23 or 24 weeks and that's still a very attractive offer as long as we are rewarded for it.

    "People ask me what are broadcasters thinking, we actually don't know yet.

    "We know they have an appetite for Super rugby and we know they have an appetite for expansion but the big unknown is what will they pay.

    "We won't know that until we give them a proposal."

    O'Neill said the ARU's current broadcast deal expires at the end 2010.

    O'Neill said while he hoped the expansion would be approved, he said nothing was definite until approved by SANZAR.

    "I think everyone still has a black ball that they can throw in there, O'Neill said.

    "The ARU's preference is for expansion in a way that's fiscally responsible, but then again if nothing changes then we have to wait another five years to have a crack at it."

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  3. gho

    gho Guest

    hopefully they get this across the line. I wished they were adding melbourne, but the ARU seems to be a bit tight financially at the moment. While the pacific islands would be nice, financially you can't look past Japan (assuming they come out of the current economic crisis well)
  4. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    Er...guys? Argentina?

    Why are they fixated with Japan? What is the bloody attraction here? All a Japanese franchise will be is a crappy ex-pat team with little or no support from the Japanese themselves. They won't attract any native Japanese players as they'll be bound to their existing clubs.

    We need to get Argentina into a competition. Pronto.
  5. QLD

    QLD Guest

    I'll be disappointed if they don't bring in a Victorian team.

    ^^Prestwick, Japan is the same timezone as Aus and NZ, huge money involved there too. Agree with what you say though.
  6. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    The problem with Japan is with the rest of the Far East: they don't like you.

    The Japanese will see a Super 14 team made up of random ANZAC and Pacific Island exiles as some random foreign franchise being forced upon them and an unwelcome distraction to what they're really interested in which is watching the Sanyo Wild Knights take on Waseda University.

    I can see why O'Neill wants to move into Japan rather than Argentina, its all part of Australia's drive to become more neighborly in its region of Asia-Pacific and move away from its ties with the UK and the United State and be more 'into' the region, its politics and so on.

    The problem is that they (Asian nations like Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Korea and Japan) don't like you. They never will like you and they never have liked you. They don't care how many people have emigrated to Australia from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, etc to the people of those countries those expats are seen as exiles, turncoats and are treated as such when they return home. They don't give a monkies about how much you want to become a more active partner in regional affairs. They don't really care that much that you want to help out and be a better regional neighbor.

    The bottom line is that the reason why a Japanese Super 14 franchise would fail is that unless it is made up of purely Japanese players it will be seen as a purely foreign creation specifically for the entertainment of the local ANZAC expat population and nothing else.

    On that basis, you'd be better off basing a Super 14 franchise in Hong Kong. Far better off in fact.

    EDIT: When I say "you", I don't mean Australians, I just mean White, Anglo-Saxon "barbarians" in general. It is quite shocking to say but thishow the Chinese, Japanese and (to a lesser degree) Koreans view the world: they are on top and those hairy, smelly and vulgar apes from Europe and North America and their descendants in Australasia are at the bottom of the food chain.
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Feb 4 2009, 01:53 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>

    SANZAR don't care about Argentina any more - their money's run out.
  8. Maccaweeny

    Maccaweeny Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Feb 5 2009, 10:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    The Timorese like us, it's a start.
  9. Maccaweeny

    Maccaweeny Guest

    I think ideas of there being a middle kingdom and superior races in Asia is starting to die out. In Japan, Nepal (definitely Nepal), and Thailand I found that locals ( and not just the ones who were selling me ****) were generally interested in where I came from. In Nepal most villagers didn't know where Australia was let alone our ethnic makeup. Australian Muay Thai fighters have also started to gain respect in Thailand, an example being John Wayne Parr who has regularly fought on the King's Birthday and stood on equal footing with their best fighters. When I've been to Lumpinee, If i said I was Australia most people would rather mention his name rather than snub me for being white. All in all I don't think most East Asians are racist.
  10. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    I don't think they all are either, but there is as we could call it in the UK instutionalised racism within facets of Asian society. There are a good many and when you have a situation where Westerners are barred from places like public bath houses and other places purely because of their ethnicity and when these people take their case to the courts find that the authorities are rarely sympathetic or even willing to enforce the rule of law.

    I had some great times in Japan as well, ironically they tended to be in the places where Westerners least go in the rural parts of Central Japan and Shikokou. At times in Tokyo though the atmosphere towards westerners like myself was sometimes cold, other times slightly shocking but on the whole quite amusing in how you see businessmen in their early 30s and respectful old ladies moving a couple of seats away from..undesirables..on the London Underground too. Same thing, just that the skin colour of the perpetrator changes.

    Bottom line, attitudes amongst younger people may be softening towards the West, the line of governments over there is still at the stage of when Asian Government so spectacularly sunk Paul Keating's charm offensive with its "trailer trash" jibes during the 1980s .
  11. Steve-o

    Steve-o Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Feb 5 2009, 05:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    From what I've seen the Japanese like "Westerners" and their culture. They got nuts over American sport like baseball and basketball, and sell out Back Street Boys concerts faster than you can say sashimi. And I know their players love the S14 (I saw a thing about it on Re-Union).

    Expansion there would be more desired as it's in the same time zone as Oz and NZ, roundabouts.

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Teh Mite @ Feb 5 2009, 01:59 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    You were probably being sarcastic when you said this but it's pretty true. Argentina still don't have a pro league up and running, SANZAR would be wasting resources on it. Unfortunately SANZAR can't bail out Argentina because it has it's own very big issues. The 'North Drift' has forced SANZAR to focus more energy and resources to keep our players down here, for the good of the game in our respective countries.

    Japan on the other hand could help this. Firstly because they have a pro league already, they're in the same time zone, and they have loads of dosh (hopefully still!).

    If you guys care so much about Argentina why don't invite them to your comps? Not so impossible considering the UK has just about the same timezone as SA. SA being the Argentinians closest destination if they were to join Super Rugby.
  12. Prestwick

    Prestwick Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Steve-o @ Feb 5 2009, 08:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    Well this is where it gets a bit complicated. They love Western culture but they must, must, must convert it so it reflects Japanese values and culture. For example, Japan's view on baseball has become slightly distorted with their emphasis on trying to link it to their old medieval Japanese days of grand warriors who were big and strong and led big armies. You look at the Yomuri Giants and the Hiroshima Carp (two of the biggest Baseball teams in Japan) and they chuck all the American influence out of the window. They've essentialy made the game their own. The same goes with Rugby; they recognise that it is an essentially a Western creation but they clean all of the Western junk out and replace it with a load of crap about you paying tribute to the spirit of Oda Nobunaga by training to the the very best goddamn offside flanker out there.

    It is hard to explain but they basically adopt whatever Western fashion is out there and then strip out all the foreign influence and convert it to fit in with their own insular social construct.

    So with Rugby, out goes the Haka, the "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and even the grand old South African cry of "BEAAAAST" when there is a big tackle and in goes the Japanese values, social structures and history. By the time you've finished watching the TOP LEAGUE and the Microsoft Cup you're actually left wondering who actually invented the game in the first place ;)

  13. Charles

    Charles Guest

    Yeah it's kind of a love/hate relationship. Some people are openly racist (esp against chinese and koreans), but the vast majority will tell you they love "foreigners".

    But at the same time, they got this difference/superiority feeling in them. Can be very irritating sometimes.

    Btw, the japanese league is crap.
  14. Flux

    Flux Guest

    Have to agree that the Japanese infatuation isn't going to help anyone. I'm sorry but why should we be helping Japan to develop when the Pacific nations and Argentineans have been screaming out for it for much longer?

    I realise it's becoming like football now in that it's all about money, but f***.
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