New Zealand Rugby rejects rumours of division over Super Rugby's future

NZ Rugby has rejected claims it is divided over the future of Super Rugby.

Reports across the Tasman suggest half of the nine-person NZR board want a trans-Tasman competition, but only featuring two Australian teams and a Pacific Islands side.

But NZR chief executive Mark Robinson insists that's not the case, while also addressing the future of the SANZAAR alliance.

Earlier this week, Newshub revealed a Super Rugby competition with New Zealand and Australian teams - and one from the Pacific - was a recommendation in the draft 'Aratipu' report.

If it comes to fruition, SANZAAR's role would be under threat, but NZR says not so fast.

"As recently as Tuesday, I was reconfirming NZR's commitment to the partnership moving forward," Robinson says. 

But in what capacity that looks like is the big question.

"Clearly things like international rugby have a key part to play, and club or franchise rugby... that's been worked through."

Those discussions will take place in due course, as certainty over what a competition format for next year looks like draws closer.

One thing's for sure, there's no truth to claims half of NZRs board favours only having two Australian teams moving forward - an outcome that would likely see the Aussies break away.

"There's absolutely no division on our board," Robinson stresses. "It's absolutely nonsense to suggest so." 

The rivalry among New Zealand teams has fired back up, but the competition with our trans-Tasman neighbours could be next.

Having played over a hundred games, Blues hooker James Parsons is more qualified than most to talk about Super Rugby in 2020.

New Zealand Rugby rejects rumours of division over Super Rugby's future

"I think the biggest thing is we've got back to focusing on is the product, providing a product that's entertaining and getting people back to the grounds," Parsons says. 

Parsons believes a proposed trans-Tasman competition will do just that and re-ignite the long-term appetite for franchise rugby in New Zealand. 

"Whatever it looks like, it'll be an exciting venture."