Wed, 30 Sep 2020

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He added that discussions had taken place with the other countries, but gave no indication about how the plan was received.

"We're in no means cutting off our Sanzaar partners and we'll be looking to do things jointly with them beyond the Rugby Championship wherever possible," he said.

"That said, we do need to have a competition that has integrity to it and has an ability to grow our game here in Australia and grow our fan base and some of the options we're looking at we believe will do just that."

Super Rugby was launched in 1996, emerging from the amateur South Pacific Championship as a 10-team professional competition featuring clubs from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Its 25th anniversary season this year has not been one to celebrate, as the Covid-19 pandemic not only halted cross-border competition but brutally exposed its flawed format.

With 15 teams in five countries straddling 16 time zones, it has long been criticised as unwieldy, expensive to run, exhausting for elite players and difficult for fans to follow.

Part of the Australian broadcast package also included an annual 'State of Union' clash between New South Wales and Queensland, similar to rugby league's State of Origin.

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