A Pasifika Super Rugby side appears to be one step closer to reality, after reports that New Zealand Rugby will allocate broadcast revenue to both Moana Pasifika and a prospective Fijian team.
According to Stuff, NZR has been working with representatives of both teams to ensure they're viable as potential Super Rugby expansion sides.
Details are yet to be confirmed about what the sharing of broadcast revenue would look like, but the final sign-off could be confirmed in the coming months.
"I've never been more confident," says Pacific Rugby Players chief executive Aiyden Clark.
"Simply because of the appetite of NZ Rugby and them being genuine about wanting to make this happen, sharing resources, and their approach.
"It'll be a huge moment, not only for Pacific Islands rugby, but also for the opportunity for players to be able to play professional rugby.
"Unlike other times, NZ Rugby needs this to happen. The competition needs change. It needs diversity."
Details are yet to be confirmed about what the sharing of broadcast revenue would look like, butthe final sign-off could be confirmed in the coming months.
Despite the success of Super Rugby Aotearoa in 2020, the competition's future as the southern hemisphere's premier club competition is cloudy.
With South Africa's ties to the northern hemisphere and the Six Nations becoming more apparent, having been linked to a new European-based eight-team competition last year, New Zealand and Australia could be forced to look elsewhere to ensure Super Rugby remains competitive.
Argentina and the Jaguares are by no means certainties to resume in Super Rugby, while Japan's success as hosts of the 2019 Rugby World Cup has also made them an intriguing proposition.
Calls for long overdue Pasifika representation in Super Rugby have only grown louder amidst the uncertainty, with the Pacific Islands possessing ample talent to form a new side to join the competition.
In December, Moana Pasifika impressed in their maiden outing as a competitive outfit, testing the Maori All Blacks in Hamilton, eventually losing 28-21.
Meanwhile, Rugby Pass also reports that the Fijian expansion side is backed by private money, as they look to secure a place in future iterations of Super Rugby.
Elsewhere, former Blues coach and ex-All Blacks Tana Umaga has signalled his desire to coach Moana Pasifika, should they be confirmed in Super Rugby from 2022 onwards.
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