SANZAR rules out 'battle of the Hemispheres'

SANZAR have ruled out the possibility of a ’Battle of the Hemispheres’ competition, despite admitting “liking the concept”.

SANZAR have ruled out the possibility of a ’Battle of the Hemispheres’ competition, despite admitting “liking the concept”.

The governing body, which oversees the Tri-Nations and Super 14 competitions on behalf of the unions of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, will witness several changes to the sport over the coming seasons.

Most notable of those will be the addition of Argentina to the current Tri-Nations competition from 2012 and the introduction of the Melbourne Rebels to a revamped Super 15 from 2011.

Reports had also suggested there was a possibility of a joint northern and southern hemisphere competition – featuring teams from the Heineken Cup and Super 15 respectively – being held at the end of 2012.

But speaking after a SANZAR meeting in Sydney, Dr Jan Marais, chairman of the South African Rugby Union (SARU) executive committee said: “We like the concept but because of the timing, SANZAR cannot commit to such a competition.

“We cannot commit our champion team (in the Super 15) to it, but said that Premier Rugby Ltd (who represent clubs in the Guinness Premiership and made the proposal) should contact individual unions to ascertain whether they will be interested to participate.”

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